Logan Ryan set out to make a strong first impression.
Now three months into his stay with the Tennessee Titans, the former New England Patriots cornerback is doing so.
“He’s made a lot of plays,” Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said in his press conference Wednesday after the second session of mandatory minicamp, via TitansOnline.com. “He’s made a lot of plays in one-on-one. He’s doing a good job of communicating. This is a little more extensive than what they did in New England as far as the scheme, and he does a great job communicating and he’s in the right place where he needs to be. He’s made a lot of plays, made some out here again today.”
Ryan made his way to Nashville on a three-year, $30 million pact only one day after free agency opened in March. Prior to then, the 2013 third-round pick had spent four years in Foxborough. He won a pair of Super Bowls during his Patriots tenure while entering into every game and starting 45 of them, including postseason.
And last season, while lining up both on the outside and in, his 897 snaps ranked fourth on the defense.
The slate is clean now for Ryan. His past production is just that, but it doesn’t hurt, either. The rings and the starts, not to mention the 243 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, 41 passes defended, and 13 interceptions returned for 167 yards and a touchdown, have all been packed along with him.
They’re part of what drew Tennessee to him.
The Titans, who’ve posted a 21-43 record since the Rutgers product entered the league, are welcoming Ryan’s winning resume.
“It’s always a plus for your team to get people who have been champions,” Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said during his meeting with the media last week. “Again, we’re just asking them to come in and get with our vibes, play our defense, and just be the type of player that they are. Logan’s going a great job. They can lead so much just by how they play.”
Seven of the 11 cornerbacks in Tennessee’s current secondary have played one season or no seasons at the NFL level. And while the 26-year-old Ryan is acclimating as much as most of them are, he’s also guiding. April’s release of a fellow Scarlet Knight, 29-year-old Jason McCourty, has heightened Ryan’s importance to a young, mostly unproven, group.
He sits atop a depth chart that features first-rounder Adoree’ Jackson, as well as Brice McCain, Kalan Reed, Demontre Hurst, D’Joun Smith, Tye Smith, Manny Abad, Jeremy Boykins, LeShaun Sims and Curtis Riley.
McCain, Reed, D’Joun Smith and Sims were with Tennessee last season.
“I’m not going to prejudge any of them,” LeBeau said of the Titans’ corner situation. “Logan’s going to be a starter unless something happens. I mean, that’s the reason we got him. He’s got the veteran experience.”
More experience is being accrued by Ryan. More reverence from his coaching staff and teammates is being earned. The rest is a wait-and-see.
“It’s kind of like new kid at school, man,” Ryan told reporters in the Titans’ locker room on Tuesday. “I have a lot more confidence now than I did when I switched middle schools. A little nervousness – you want the guys to like you – but I realize you got to be yourself, whether it’s goofy, whatever it may be. Just be yourself and figure out what the guys are like. Just be a good guy, be good to other people and they’ll treat you well.
“I go out there and try to be good to my teammates,” added Ryan. “Try to lay it out there all on the line for them each and every day and try to earn their respect in practice.”
He appears well on his way.