Early versatility could prepare Logan Ryan for a move to safety

When Logan Ryan was growing up, his father wanted him to get a taste at every position on the football field.

He would play on the offensive line, at defensive end, running back, even quarterback. By the time he got to Eastern High School in Voorhees, N.J., his knack for playing different positions earned him all-state selections at both quarterback and cornerback.

His father, Lester Ryan, always wanted his son to be prepared to play wherever his coaches needed him.

After a solid rookie season at cornerback, the Patriots’ 2013 third-round pick could be on the move again.

Throughout the offseason, there’s been speculation that Ryan could move to safety in his second NFL season. During the draft, coach Bill Belichick even confirmed that the cornerback would see some time there leading up to training camp.

“I think, we’ll have to see how it all goes,” Belichick said. “Last year [Marquice] Cole sort of did that, played some safety, played some nickel corner, played a little bit on the perimeter. Logan did that. We’ll have to see how it all comes together, but I would imagine in the spring that we probably give those guys some exposure.”

It won’t be the first time Logan Ryan has made the switch.

Lester Ryan, who started training his son when he was 12 years old, recalls a time at Rutgers when then-coach Greg Schiano had Logan practice at safety.

“They dabbled a little bit with Logan,” Lester Ryan said. “I remember he called me one time and said, ‘Dad, they have me at safety.’ I said, ‘Well, you’ll learn to play like a safety.’ Then he called me back and said, ‘I had three picks today.’ I was like, ‘This kid is unbelievable.’

“Guys like Schiano and Belichick, they always think outside the box. They always use that as a mentality. … If they decide that’s what they want to try, Logan’s not going to let them down. We’ve prepared him.”

Lester Ryan played football at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania and has been a martial arts trainer for the last 40 years. He’s a sergeant for the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and he trains law enforcement officials in different forms of self defense.

He started to train his son in various football drills as a boy in their backyard.

All the training paid off. Last season, the cornerback led the Patriots and all rookies with five interceptions.

With the additions of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, the Pats’ secondary is a bit crowded. After releasing safety Steve Gregory, it would make sense to try Logan Ryan at safety, to keep him on the field.

“I know he’ll give it his all if that’s what they want to see if he can do. I think he can do it,” Lester Ryan said. “He’s going to study. He’s going to do what he has to do in the classroom to get ready. I think he has the opportunity to do well with it. It’ll be interesting. I have no doubt if that’s where they want him to play, he’ll do a great job.”

Contact Info

If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.

Neil S. Schwartz

Email: neilsschwartz@gmail.com

Jonathan Feinsod

Email: jonathan@sffootball.net

Players Association

The union for professional football players in the NFL.

NFL Players Association (NFLPA)

The National Football League Players Association is the union for professional football players in the National Football League. Established in 1956, the NFLPA has a long history of assuring proper recognition and representation of players’ interests.