There is talk about the Giants boasting one of the best secondaries in the NFL in 2021. Logan Ryan is aware, and he is not shying away from it.
After the Giants opened up mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, the ninth-year pro said he looks at what the best rooms in the league look like and uses it as his "barometer" for his group in terms of practicing and pushing each other. But the 31 other clubs aren't his only concern. Ryan, who is entering his first full season with the Giants, also looked into the past.
"I reached out personally this year to Antrel Rolle, I reached out to Jason Sehorn, and I reached out to Corey Webster," Ryan said. "I reached out to those guys and said, 'Hey, I want to pick your brain and be great like you. I respect what you have done in the past. Can you give me anything?'"
They had plenty to share.
Rolle never missed a start in his five seasons with the Giants and was a vocal leader of the Super Bowl XLVI-wining team; Corey Webster won two Super Bowls with the franchise and made one of the biggest plays in the team's postseason history with an overtime interception of Brett Favre in the 2007 NFC Championship Game; and Sehorn played in more than 100 games and helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl appearance.
"All those guys were so honored and willing and eager to be a part of our secondary, and they were willing and eager to help out," Ryan said. "They were thankful that I reached out to try to build the bridge between the current secondary and former greats. I want to be like them and lead those units, and I asked them personally how to be a better leader and a player. I'm an empty cup. They are filling it up, and I just try to relate that and try to teach the history of the franchise to the young guys so we know that our standard is to be one of those secondaries to make the organization and the fan base proud."
View must-see photos of defensive back Logan Ryan.
Ryan re-upped the ante last year for Big Blue, despite joining the team just 10 days before the start of the 2020 regular season. A cornerback for most of his career, Ryan started 13 games at safety and finished second on the team with 92 tackles (67 solo), one sack, one interception, nine passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Ryan's interception with 1:15 remaining sealed the Giants' 23-20 victory in Washington on Nov. 8.
Like the trio of Giants greats he reached out to, Ryan knows what it takes for the younger players to get to the mountaintop. Ryan won two Super Bowls with the Patriots and has played in five conference championship games, most recently with the Titans in 2019.
Sharing his wisdom was part of the reason he gathered the Giants' defensive backs for workouts this offseason.
"I really just wanted to bring the guys down and just have some time to ourselves," Ryan said. "It was tough last year, joining the team so late and not really having an opportunity to bond with the guys. I just think those guys got to see how I work day to day, and we got to talk a lot about how we would play things and we actually had a boating trip. [Pro Bowl cornerback James] Bradberry said he didn't catch any fish, but we talked a lot about coverage and Bradberry talking about how he was covering a guy, and really it was cool sharing stories how we covered guys in the league. It was a great opportunity."
Ryan added: "We are far away from game planning, but me, Jabrill [Peppers] and [Xavier McKinney], I think we are each other's biggest fans. I think we like playing together. I think there's no selfishness there, and I try to give them every trick that I know and have learned through the years. I try to put that down to them and allow them to be better players than me at that age. I love coming to work with those guys. They are great guys and we are finding a way to all enjoy each other."