Defensive back Logan Ryan wants it to be known that he beat Daniel Jones to work Wednesday.
“Today, I beat Daniel, that’s on record,” Ryan said. “Maybe two days this entire season I beat Daniel Jones to the building.”
This dedication and emphasis on hard work began when Ryan played with the New England Patriots from 2013-16 at the beginning of his career. He learned from Tom Brady the importance of being the first one to arrive. While with New England, Ryan won two Super Bowls. He spent his following three season with the Tennessee Titans, who finished 9-7 all three years. In his seven combined NFL seasons, Ryan has made the playoffs six times.
Because of his experience, Ryan brings a winning attitude to a win-less Giants team. He signed with the Giants just nine days before the season started and has made a swift impact, recording 22 tackles, including 16 solo, three passes defended, one forced fumble and one quarterback hit.
Here are some takeaways from Ryan’s presser with the media Wednesday.
Executing Patrick Graham’s vision
Ryan praised the way defensive coordinator Patrick Graham embraces each player’s specific strengths and the way he alters the game plan to specifically fit each opponent.
“I believe that he’s a coordinator that’s not afraid to change from week to week in order to take away the opponent’s strengths,” Ryan said. “I think a good example of that was the Rams game and I think it’s up to the players to execute it. I think last week was our best job for the most part, all but two drives, of executing his vision.”
Ryan said that the game-plan-specific defense requires constant adaptability from players and trust in Graham himself. Graham’s system also ensure that egos do not dominate on the playing field as each player is expected to step up where needed in a given week.
“You have to be a team first guy,” Ryan said. “Some game plans, your numbers might be called to blitz. I love to blitz. Some games, I blitz 30 times. Other games, I don’t blitz once. I don’t know if I blitzed last week and I love to blitz, but it was the best game plan to get our defense to stop what the Rams did and it worked for most of the game. I think you have to be selfless. I think we have a bunch of guys that are like that here, that like working hard and like playing gritty, hard-nosed defense.”
Ryan understands that this constantly-changing game plan is more challenging for young players, who have the disadvantage of no preseason games, to execute. Ryan drew on his experience in New England to highlight the importance of those preseason reps.
“When I was in New England my rookie year, led all defensive snaps played in the preseason,” Ryan said. “I played like 80 snaps a game every preseason game. They started me and kept me in every snap. I had so much reps going into the season. These guys are just getting done with their fourth NFL game and there’s no preseason. I think what they’re starting to see is their execution, see what it looks like when they do it well.”
Ryan also knows that opposing teams have been and will continue to exploit the inexperience of young players.
“Those are live game reps against good offenses, good offensive coordinators who are looking to take advantage of young players,” Ryan said. “We’ve had a lot of turnover here, new players, some young players but, hey, there’s no excuses being made. We’re trying to learn and build. I think last week was a good building block for us.”
Daniel Jones’ development
Because Ryan and Jones are usually the first two people in the building, Ryan said that they talk often.
“He asks me questions about defense, I ask him a lot of questions about offense,” Ryan said. “I’m trying to make it hard on the quarterback, I’m trying to make it hard on him every day. He makes it hard on me. Anything he needs, he knows I’m an open book.”
Despite the slow start to the season and the turnovers that have plagued Jones’ young career, Ryan said that he fully supports the sophomore QB.
“I have full faith in him,” Ryan said. “However it’s going right now, it’s four games. However many starts he has in his career, it’s a young career. He has to keep his confidence and keep growing. He has no problem being a leader, he has no problem working hard.”
Preparing to face the division-rival Cowboys
The Giants will travel to AT&T Stadium to face the Cowboys Sunday in the first of three straight games against NFC East opponents. Ryan said that he is excited for to see how the team squares up in an important division matchup.
“This week we have the best passer in football, the most explosive offense,” Ryan said. “Three great receivers, maybe the best running back in football with Saquon down. We have a tall task at hand. I think that puts a lot on our plate, but I think we’ll perform to the best of our abilities.”
In order to prepare to face the high-powered Cowboys offense, Ryan has been spending more time with Giants offensive coordinator and former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett to gain some insight.
“They have a new offense, coordinator, new head coach over there, a little bit of a different system,” Ryan said. “We’ll just learn the tendencies of Dak. We have to do something, he’s playing extremely well, as well as any quarterback in the league right now. I have to ask a couple questions to figure out how to slow that up. Any hint and tip I can get, I’m one known to take it and see if it applies.”
By preparing for the Cowboys in this way and building off the positive developments of the defense’s performance last week, Ryan said that he feels optimistic.
“I’m excited to take on the Cowboys with the group I have, because we have a group of fighters,” Ryan said. “We have group of guys who are believing, a group of guys that will do whatever it takes. Whatever I say out there, I believe these guys are starting to do it and put it on for the team. I think we’re starting to see what good defense actually looks like, actually performing it. I think we believe it, but we’re starting to execute it.”
In the team’s first game in front of live fans, Ryan is excited to silence AT&T Stadium. A New Jersey native, Ryan has always rooted against the Cowboys.
“I love the energy the fans bring, the good and bad,” Ryan said. “Nothing is (better) than quieting a road stadium. I’m excited for it, but we have to do something to quiet those fans. We have to play well and that’s the best thing we have to do.”