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Logan Ryan relishes rookie season

Logan Ryan spent years as a youth dreaming about playing in the NFL.

He accomplished his goal when the Patriots chose him 83rd overall in the third round of last year’s NFL draft. And though the cornerback was happy with his development, he won’t become complacent entering his first offseason.

“It was a learning experience,” Ryan said. “It was a lot of fun. It was a great year when it just comes to developing as a player. I’m happy with how far I came, but I’ve got a long way to go.”

Ryan started the year behind Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard and Kyle Arrington on the depth chart, but he earned plenty of opportunities throughout the season. The 22-year-old played in all 16 contests for the Pats, starting seven.

When he did get on the field, Ryan made the most of his opportunities. He led the Patriots and all rookies in the NFL with five interceptions. His 10 passes deflected ranked third on the Pats. But as he left Gillette Stadium yesterday, he said he’s happier with the team’s success than his own.

“Individually, I don’t look too much into it. I’m happy with the team,” Ryan said. “It wasn’t exactly what we pictured in the end, but I don’t think a lot of people pictured that team from what you saw in the beginning of the season on paper to what we actually (ended) up playing with, and I couldn’t be more proud (about) how we fought. Me individually, fighting each and every game in whatever role that was. But that’s how this team was — it was next man up all year. It’s something to be proud of.”

It was a long season for Ryan, who was drafted in April, then went through rookie minicamp, OTAs and training camp before the games even began.

He’ll head back home to Berlin, N.J., and take some time to let his body heal before working out again. Though he played more football this season than he ever has, Ryan said he never let the grind get to him.

“This game is all mental,” he said. “I was so locked into each and every week, I didn’t allow myself to feel like I was getting tired. I figured I’ve got the whole offseason to rest.”

After living his dream, Ryan’s eager to get back to work and is excited for next season.

“It was everything I imagined and more,” Ryan said. “It was a lot of fun. I’m blessed to be in this situation. I’m fortunate and I’m excited for the future.”

And after he gets some much needed rest, Ryan’s offseason plans are simple.

“Just work harder than I ever have before,” he said.



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