How Logan Ryan will be the Catalyst for the Titans Secondary Success
Logan Ryan made the decision to leave New England’s winning habits and joined a rising team that – according to Ryan – is a winning culture.
“This Titans Culture is a winning culture. It just comes down to having great players. ” – Logan Ryan in an interview with Amie Wells titansonline.com
Titans’ fans are hoping that the players they added during the offseason – via free agency or potential studs selected through the draft – were enough to push them over the hump – and into the postseason.
Who is Logan Ryan
In nearly everything I read about Ryan prior to him signing with the Titans was positive. However, there was one central theme that helps paint the picture of who Ryan is.
Ryan seeks greatness. He wants to be the best and present the greatest version of himself year in and year out. Complacency is probably not a word floating around in Ryan’s head. He strives to prove to himself and his teammates that he can be better – and pushes them to do the same.
Logan Ryan – the Quarterback?
Ryan played both ways during his Eastern High School Career in Voorhees, New Jersey. Ryan was a 4 Star recruit that played and excelled at both Quarterback and Defensive Back. Ryan was one of the top defensive prospect coming out of New Jersey. He elected to stay in New Jersey and joined coach Greg Schiano to play for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Ryan was a producer for Rutgers. His productivity increased steadily throughout his collegiate career – most evidently seen between year 1 to year 2.
Ryan completed the transition to full-time defensive player and played all his college snaps at cornerback. He spent his freshmen year mastering the position of cornerback as he didn’t have to worry about memorizing plays from a Quarterback position.
His play improved significantly in year two, and he continued to build on a strong second season which translated to his best statistical year during his final for the Scarlet Knights.
Ryan developed a nose for the ball. Having played both Quarterback and Cornerback in High School – in my opinion – helped him to have a better sense in identifying where the play was going.
His play recognition helps him pinpoint the ball and either may a play through an interception or killing the play with his sure tackling ability.
Ryan was a 3rd round selection by the New England Patriots in 2013 and would develop into one of the best defensive players on the team.
He led the team in solo tackles over the past two season. Through Ryan’s hard work and commitment to greatness, he improved his tackling every season. Ryan doesn’t shy away from tackling and made his money by becoming a magnet to the ball.
Ryan knows what a winning franchise looks like. In the past 4 seasons, he’s made it to the AFC Championship 4 straight seasons and has two Super Bowl rings to show in just four years.
“He’s worked hard. He’s very conscientious. He takes coaching well. He tries to do what he is instructed to do, and when you identify something he is doing wrong, he tries to correct it and improve on it.” – Bill Belichek (masslive.com interview with Kevin Duffy)
Ryan tackling is not the only thing Titans fans should be excited about. His ability to decipher a play as it develops has led to 13 career interceptions.Jason McCourty – the Titans most stable force at the position in recent memory – registered 13 total throughout his 8 year tenure with the team.
46% of Ryan’s interceptions have come from Pro Bowl Quarterbacks. He wins with his awareness. Some of his interceptions came from being near the right place at the right time (tipped balls). Either way, a pick is a pick.
Below is a list highlighting who Ryan has picked off as well as what week in the season the picks came in. Yes, not everyone below was a habitual Pro Bowl QB, but they made at least one during their career.
What he Brings To Tennessee
Ryan may not rack up at least 4 interceptions every other year, but he will be a consistent and stable for on this defensive unit. He will expedite the rate at which the younger defensive backs develop.
Ryan is only 29 – and to be that young and have that much experience of a winning culture is invaluable to the Titans and the young defensive backs on the roster.
Eager to enhance his game under Defensive Coordinator Dick Lebeau, Ryan will only improve at his position and his best football days may be ahead of him. He hasn’t reached his prime and has been tremendous as a contributor to the Patriots defensive success.
What Ryan brings to Tennessee is experience as a leader,contributor and a work-ethic that will be contagious. He will push his teammates. He will show them what work needs to be put in outside of the playing field.
Ryan will show them how performing the cornerback position at a high level requires a constant desire to improve on both weaknesses and strengths.
Ryan has the cache to influence 1st round selection Adoree’ Jackson and 2nd year player LeShaun Sims. He could be instrumental in the rate in which they develop into their potential. He know exactly what it takes to find yourself playing football in February – which is the central focus of the Titans locker room.
What the Numbers Indicate
It’s important to understand what Ryan is and set logical expectations.
He’s not an interception machine nor is he a shut down corner. Ryan – unlike Richard Sherman or Patrick Peterson – may not have 7 or 8 interception season or cause QBs to avoid his side of the field. That’s perfectly fine. He averages about 4 interceptions a season and is always finding the ball, which is attributed to his awareness and football IQ. If you’re a Titans fan, that works.
Ryan is a physical, tackling corner. He will always be around the ball whenever he’s on the field. His presence will be felt and will radiate throughout his teammates. Ryan will kill a play or help kill a play.
Ryan’s mentality and overall character makeup will bring a confidence and swagger to the secondary. Something the team has lacked for years. He’s played with arguably the best Quarterback-Head coach duo of all time. What he learned from them combined with what he will learn from LeBeau could help Ryan cement himself as a premiere corner in the NFL.
Ryan is wisdom and instincts will resonate with young talent like Jackson and Sims – which will help their games evolve to the next level. Jackson’s athletic ability combined with what he will learn from Ryan’s experience could help him become a feared playmaker sooner than later.
This – in combination with his physicality and leadership – is why the addition of Ryan will set the tone for the Titans secondary for years to come.
***I do not claim any credit for the photographs or quotes featured above. All credit goes to the author(s) and or publisher(s) Stats referenced from nfl.com,patriots.com,espn.go.com****