Defensive Back Logan Ryan
Q: (Head Coach) Joe Judge has taken a lot of heat this week especially after his comments after the game the other day and given how the season's gone to this point. What can you best say in the defense of him and of your guys' program that it should continue and that you believe this is going in the right direction as he said the other day?
A: I would just say that Joe's been consistent in his demeanor and his approach with us. I think as a professional, he's treated us all well with respect in terms of players and listening to the veterans on this team and welcoming any insight that we might have. I just think he's been a coach and a man who's been willing to listen to his players and still requires the same week in and week out from his players. To me, he's just been consistent since they hired him in terms of his approach with us and he's treated us professionally. It's been respectable, he's been a respectful head coach in my opinion.
Q: I know this is all new to you having been where you've been but do players shoulder that going into this game like, 'we need to win, we need to put a good performance out there,' to save not just Joe, assistant coaches, all these guys who are coaching you. Do you shoulder that responsibility of we need to play well to save our coaches basically?
A: I just shoulder the responsibility of I need to play well because it's what I get paid to do because this game means a lot to us as players and our families and this building. There's a lot of people I've highlighted throughout my career that do a lot of work behind the scenes that want to contribute to a winning product. I just think as a professional athlete when there's a scoreboard, you want to win that game. We're all competitive. We're very competitive in everything we do, and I think we're trying to be competitive on the football field. I just shoulder the same weight every week and try to get a win.
Q: (Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator) Patrick Graham was talking earlier about defensive struggles this year, how he has to get better. How much can the players and what can the players do to kind of help him along as he evolves in that job?
A: I think the players need to execute the plays that are being called. Just because something doesn't go right on a play doesn't mean its Patrick Graham's fault. Sometimes it's the players fault and it means that you shoulder that part of the game because we're playing the game and he allows some of us to be free as well and use some of our expertise and some of our knowledge and skillset and let those guys play free. That's what Pat allows us to do. So, it's our job to make those plays when we are and when we don't, you just chalk it up to a good play on offense and you keep going. I just think Pat's again consistent in his approach and I've known Pat for a lot of years. He's a very good coach and he's a player's coach who believes in his guys and puts his guys in a position to make the plays and whether we make them or not, that comes down to the players at the end of the day. It's a good mix between the player and the coach. It's a good relationship that we have with Pat, and we'll continue to grow under him and continue to improve as a defense.
Q: You've seen those qualities in him, and he has interviewed for head coaching jobs in the past. Do you see him maybe making that leap any time in the future, possibly next year?
A: Definitely. If your coach is being interviewed for head coaching jobs, then that means that your unit did a good job. It means your unit did a really good job and people liked how you're playing, and your coach puts you in a good position. Pat's definitely a great coach and I'm pulling for him and hope that that comes his way. I'll let him speak on that, but that means that I did my job as a leader on that defense and our unit performed high enough for our coach to get that attention that he definitely deserves because he's definitely put the work in behind the scenes and is willing to adapt with this ever-changing game of offense which changes so much and Pat's willing to adapt. He's one of the more innovative coordinators that I've worked with.
Q: One of the things that kind of got pushed out into the forefront in football today was players being forced to play while hurt. Does that still happen?
A: Not at the New York Giants it doesn't. (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie Barnes is the best in the business. Again, I've advocated with the (Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist) Justin Maher story and my wife and how much of a great job these guys do with us and our families medically. I think we've got the top of the top in those terms. I can't speak for any organization, but for this one, I think they do it the right way and I think the only way to do it. I think the Giants are the model standard when it comes to the medical side of it.
Q: You hear what's going on and Joe's postgame press conference and everything, and just the noise that's surrounding him, a lot of critics out there of him. What do you make of all that noise about your head coach?
A: We haven't been winning in New York and that's just a big spotlight. It's a tough job and a tough place when you're not winning because of the passion and the amount of support that we have for this organization. I just think Joe's a passionate guy and I think he's an honest guy and a truthful guy. I just think that was some of that coming out there. I'll let Joe speak for himself on his comments, but in terms of the feedback and all that, this is a certain place when you go to sign up to play you understand the good and bad that comes from it and that's just part of competition, winning and losing. It's kind of the spotlight here and the mecca of New York.
Q: Also, we've seen a lot of good from the defense over the last two years. How close do you think you are to getting to be that really top unit?
A: I think we can be that. We strive to be that. I don't think our expectation is to be wherever we're at this year. I think our expectation is to close out games like we were unable to do at the beginning of the year to win games. I think that we need to learn from this season. It hasn't gone as planned, obviously. I believe we put a lot of work in, but collectively I think the execution hasn't been to what we would like. They'll be changes on this team I'm sure, so we'll see what those changes are and get some of our guys back who missed a year medically and see what we have and go work at it again. We've got to give another crack at it just because it didn't turn out how we wanted, but our expectation is to be very dominant and very good on defense. I just think it's the culture here in this team and this history of this franchise and I think we have the potential to be built that way. I think the players have taken ownership, myself included, that it hasn't been the top of the league regardless of what's going on the other side of the ball, what's going on in the organization. Our standards are our standards, and we haven't met them this year. We're going to keep going at it and get there.
Q: I know there's been a lot of frustration, disappointment this season. As you come down to the final week though, it seems like there's a little bit of – just talking to Pat and Joe – a little bit of melancholy, a little bit of sadness just the last Thursday meeting, last Friday practice. Were you prepared for that at all? This is your first time going through something like that.
A: It's my first time, so I'm kind of taking it as is. I've realized how fortunate I've been in my career that other players have to experience this, and I don't like experiencing this honestly. I'd like to play a lot more football than this. But this is what you're guaranteed to play if you're healthy on your contract. It's what you signed up for and extra, so to me, we're just approaching it all, it's the last week let's make it a good one. I don't want to go into the offseason with too much regret. There's stuff I wish I could've changed. There are plays I wish I could've made. There's stuff I wish I said sooner, but that's all Monday morning quarterback. It's after the result. I try to prepare my best and play and I'm going to try to prepare my best this week and go out there and let the chips fall where they may and see where that leads us. I just think it's been great energy this week and guys have really been hanging out a lot more knowing that we don't have another week together. Guys have really been embracing this and hanging in the building longer and putting the work in to make the last performance a good one.