New Bucs safety Logan Ryan joined the Jim Rome show earlier this week. Ryan, who was signed this offseason following his release from the New York Giants was asked what his role would be like in Tampa Bay. Here is what he had to say.
“I think a similar role of multiple spots,” Ryan said. “Obviously, some safety position. I think you’ll see me also in the slot as well. And moving around as a blitzer and just active player. There’s a lot of good players on this defense. There’s a lot of good players on this team. It’s a really talented team. And I’m just excited to be competing and be a part of the mix. And figure out what my role is and carve that out in training camp.”
Bucs S Logan Ryan – Photo by: USA Today
Ryan’s has played in multiple roles as a defensive back over the course of his career. He has logged over 1,000 snaps at outside corner, slot corner and free safety. Most recently during his tenure with New York, Ryan worked primarily as a free safety. This was to a limited effect though, and as I detailed in a “Grinding the Tape” session his best usage would be as a slot defender.
Ryan specifically noted as part of his answer that he would be used as a blitzer. This is a role I am personally excited to see him deployed in. He has excelled as a pass rusher throughout much of his career, logging Pro Football Focus pass rushing grades over 70.0 in three of his past four seasons.
Additionally, head coach Todd Bowles is known for his creative blitz packages. Ryan should allow for him to expand the exotic looks and pressure packages he can dial up.
How Ryan Can Impact The Bucs Defense
Signing Ryan follows a theme for the Bucs offseason as most of their outside additions has shown versatility to work in multiple roles. Fellow free agent safety addition safety Keanu Neal most recently played linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. Meanwhile rookie defensive tackle Logan Hall worked as both an interior lineman as well as an edge rusher at the University of Houston.
Ryan’s ability to play several different spots in the secondary should allow for more creativity in deploying other members of the defensive backfield. Starting free safety Antoine Winfield, Jr. was limited in the different ways he could line up the past two seasons. This was due to a rigidity in how other members of the secondary in their roles. With Ryan on board now Winfield can move into the box and slot as well as his primary usage as a deep safety.
As Ryan said, the defense has a lot of good players. By adding him to the mix it will help unlock more of them to elevate the unit in 2022.