FOXBORO, Mass. — There’s no better way to prepare defensive backs for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck than to make them go against New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady every day.
That’s what cornerback Logan Ryan has been forced to do in practice his rookie season, and it appears to be helping him. Ryan has five interceptions on the season and has allowed fewer than 50 percent of the passes targeted against him to go for receptions.
Ryan has faced some great quarterbacks this year, including Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Cam Newton, but none may be a greater challenge than Brady.
“I practice against a great quarterback every day,” Ryan said on Wednesday. “So, I think practicing against Tom makes everything a little bit easier because I think he’s one of the best. Just to get to see that day in and day out, there’s not much more I can see.”
Ryan also might be aided on Saturday, when the Patriots face the Colts, by some experience he gathered in college at Rutgers. Ryan faced star Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton in 2010 while the cornerback was a freshman at Rutgers and the wideout was a junior at Florida International.
“The only thing that hasn’t changed is he’s still a great player,” Ryan said. “And he’s doing it at an even higher level. But he was such a great player even in college and I do remember playing against him. They got him the ball in a variety of different ways. He can play a variety of different positions when it comes to inside, outside. He’s such a great football player.”
Hilton is still moved around a lot, which means a variety of different cornerbacks might be lined up across from the second-year pro. Ryan is likely hoping that the results of Saturday’s game is similar to Rutgers’ and FIU’s matchup in 2010. The Scarlet Knights won 19-14.
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