FOXBORO, Mass. — Like his former and current teammate Duron Harmon, Logan Ryan has been able to ease his way into the Patriots’ defense.
The Rutgers product has been the sixth-man in New England’s typical five-man starting secondary. He was the team’s dime back before Aqib Talib got hurt and he’s been the nickel back since Talib went down with a hip injury against the Saints in Week 6.
The third-rounder has made some big plays in his limited time. Against the Jets, Ryan scored on a 79-yard interception. Last week, he came up with a key strip sack in the third quarter against the Dolphins.
Those big plays are how he earned the nickname “Instant Offense” from his teammates. Devin McCourty spoke to Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net about the nickname, calling Ryan the defense’s “spark plug.”
On the season, Ryan has allowed 11 receptions on 22 targets for 150 yards and a touchdown. He’s played outside and in the slot. He has two deflected passes and 1 1/2 sacks on the season.
We’re at the halfway point in the season, so now’s the time to catch up with this year’s rookie crop to see how they’re adjusting to the NFL. See what Ryan had to say about his rookie experience below.
Do you look to one player as a “big brother” who you can ask all your questions to?
Logan Ryan: Well I think the easy answer to that would be Devin McCourty because of the relationship we had in the past. For years it’s kind of the role he’s had with me in football. Honestly, it’s been everybody. It’s been a lot — we have a lot veteran leadership on the defense. We have a lot of veteran leadership on this team. I think Tom Brady, talking to him back in OTAs really was cool. Building a relationship with him. This defensive backfield, this secondary with Aqib and Devin [McCourty] and Kyle [Arrington] just had a lot of success in the NFL. But I also relate a lot to Alfonzo Dennard because he’s still a younger guy. I wouldn’t pinpoint just one, but I think there’s plenty of guys helping me out.
What’s been the hardest adjustment you’ve had to make coming to the pro level?
LR: Just repetition. I don’t think it’s one little thing. I just think it’s trying to correct the mistakes from last play but don’t mess up something else. Just learn from your mistakes, stay consistent and just keep repeating. Just repeating good reps and when I get comfortable, every week I feel a little bit more comfortable. That’s when I feel like I can start making more plays.
What has been the been benefit, coming from Rutgers to the Patriots?
LR: The biggest benefit is just the schedule. Our schedule was pretty similar at Rutgers with lifting in season. Lifting pretty hard in season. Practices, a lot of meeting time. I think — I came from Rutgers, it prepared me a little more than other colleges would. With just the preparation we did from game to game. I understand how each game is important. I think I did a good job of learning that at Rutgers.
Does the season seem to be going by fast or slow?
LR: A little bit of both. I think there was times when I felt like ‘Wow, we’re only at this week.’ But I look back and it’s already halfway gone. I really developed the mindset to take it week to week and try to get better that week and try to win that game. And then I’ll pick my head up at the end of the season.
What about the nickname Instant Offense?
LR: [Laughs] I never really was a nickname guy because Logan Ryan’s just two first names — it’s basic. That’s pretty funny, but I’m just out there trying to do my job.
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