FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick discussed the possibility of giving second-year cornerback Logan Ryan snaps at safety after the 2014 NFL draft, but those plans can be put on hold for now.
Ryan said he hasn’t taken snaps at safety, but he’s open to the idea of a position switch.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Ryan said Thursday at Gillette Stadium. “I haven’t heard anything like that yet. I’m out here just focused on getting better, and I’ve always considered myself a defensive back. We’re always going to have the best 11 players on the field, so position, whatever it may be, doesn’t really affect me much as long as it helps the team and we have the best players on the field, then I don’t have a problem with anything.”
Putting the best 11 players on the field, regardless of position, is a Belichick staple, and Ryan proved to be one of the Patriots’ best 11 defensive players in 2013. Ryan played outside cornerback and in the slot, a position that Belichick has compared in the past to having similar aspects to a safety.
“Not necessarily,” Ryan said about playing safety this offseason. “We’ll see how things go. For now, I’m a defensive back for the New England Patriots, and I’m just going to try to work on my craft.”
Ryan’s natural position is a lot more crowded now, after the Patriots signed cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in free agency. Ryan is teaching Revis and Browner the Patriots’ defense, while they teach him more about his craft.
“Great guys, man. They’re great. Not only players, but they’re great people to learn from,” Ryan said. “They’ve played eight and nine years, respectively. Browner’s been in the CFL and NFL, so he’s played a lot ball at different places, and Revis is obviously a great player. I’m just picking their brains, and I’m helping them learn the defense a little bit, but they’re teaching me so much more.”
Ryan could have a big season in his second year with the Patriots. He’s building on a rookie year where he had five interceptions, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, so it would be wise for Belichick to find a spot on the starting or nickel defense for the second-year defensive back, whether it’s at corner or safety.