Giants veteran defensive back Logan Ryan has flown under the radar in terms of recognized performance at his position in his NFL career. But that could all change soon, as Ryan currently leads all NFC free safeties in Pro Bowl votes and seems like a lock to make his first career Pro Bowl.
Coming to New York has given Ryan, a third-round pick out of Rutgers and New Jersey native, the opportunity to thrive in his role with the Giants' defensive system. The system is led by a defensive coordinator he is familiar with in Patrick Graham from their shared time in New England.
Ryan has also quickly emerged as a team leader on one of the youngest rosters in the league. His championship experience and character have made him a favorite both in and out of the locker room.
"I'm definitely trying to lead and inspire no matter what adversity I face this year on and off the field, no matter what our record states I'm trying to give my best," Ryan said.
Ryan signed a one-year deal back on August 31, just two weeks before the start of the regular season. The Giants are his third team.
In four seasons with the Patriots and three seasons with the Titans, Ryan was consistently an impact player whether it be on defense or special teams and even came up with several signature plays in big games, including intercepting Tom Brady's final pass as a Patriot for the Titans in last year's Wild Card game.
Regardless of his impact, Ryan was never recognized enough by the Pro Bowl voters, consisting of fans and players and coaches from around the league.
A career season playing in the nation's leading media market has finally allowed Ryan to get that recognition. But what's truly helped Ryan succeed in his new post is his undying team-first mentality, which he's maintained even amid his breakout season.
"I played my butt off at Tennessee for years and felt like I deserved it and didn't get it, so to have the recognition of the fan base," Ryan said. "This great fan base and the amount of eyes on me, and playing here is something I embrace and something I love of the pressure cooker that New York City is with the lights always on you."
"I haven't made it yet in my career and it'll be a huge goal checked off my list. But a lot of those accolades come with putting the team first and I feel like that's my first goal, always putting the team first and whatever comes my way comes my way, but try to be the same guy each and every day."
With three games left in the season and the Giants fighting for their playoff lives, Ryan still has a lot of work to do with his teammates. That starts on Sunday night against the 9-4 Cleveland Browns, an opponent that Ryan has never lost to in his career and one he even had a career day against for the Titans in Week 1 of last season when he recorded 1.5 sacks, an interception, and two passes defended.
The Giants are no doubt hoping that Ryan can have a similar performance against Cleveland on Sunday night.
"I'm definitely focused on the Browns first and foremost," Ryan said. "I think being first place by just being a team-first player, I'm not really chasing stats, I'm trying to do whatever job the team asks me to do that week."