Monday, December 23, 2013
Rookie CB Logan Ryan sparks Patriots
By Mike Reiss
BALTIMORE -- The first sign Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens might be different for rookie cornerback Logan Ryan was when fellow cornerback Alfonzo Dennard went through a pre-game test in front of the team’s medical and athletic training staff. Dennard’s knee continues to be an issue to manage, and while he was ultimately deemed healthy enough to dress, the Patriots hoped to limit his time on the field.
So Ryan got the start. And boy, did he make the most of it.
The third-round draft choice from Rutgers had two interceptions and a pass break-up on fourth down (essentially another turnover) as the Patriots got back to their turnover-producing ways after a recent drought.
“Ever since the first game, I’ve always wanted to be prepared. Whatever my opportunity is, I want to make the most of it -- whether it’s starting the game or coming in sub, I want to make an impact in the game,” Ryan said as he donned an AFC East Championship hat.
Ryan’s first interception, in the first quarter, came on a tipped pass by linebacker Dont'a Hightower. The second came on a play in which Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta couldn’t corral a Joe Flacco pass in the third quarter.
Ryan credited the coaches’ call in putting him in position to make the play, as well as Hightower’s athleticism. He also said one of the primary points of emphasis was “don’t let those guys get going with their deep shots.”
Ryan now has five interceptions on the season, which leads all NFL rookies. Asked how he’d like to be viewed as a player, he said, “Hard worker. Not [just] on Sundays, but during the week. I want to be consistent. It’s great to have interceptions, but you have to be consistent 50 other plays in the game. I just want to be known as someone who works hard each and every day and is consistent out there.”
As for the Patriots’ resounding victory, Ryan said: “I don’t know if it was a statement or not. We know we have a big one next week. We continue to control our own destiny. We’re going to enjoy this one and then focus on the Buffalo Bills.”