NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Logan Ryan spent his first four NFL seasons with the New England Patriots, but the Titans cornerback downplayed how much that might help this week.
At least not as far as defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota are concerned.
“I can’t tell coach LeBeau what to expect -- the guy has 80 years on me when it comes to football experience,” Ryan said. “And Marcus watches more film than anybody in the building. So I don’t really need to tell them anything. If I tell them something, they’ve already seen it.”
The Titans face the Patriots on Saturday night in an AFC divisional playoff contest.
Ryan won two Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, and he has fond memories from his days with the team.
But he also downplayed how much that might mean heading into this weekend. He’s not getting real sentimental about it.
“It is a playoff game,” said Ryan, who started 15 games for the Titans this season. “It’s how this league works in free agency, it’s what we collectively bargained for. So it’s great to be able to have the freedom to go from team to team if you play well enough and it works out. But I am not the first player to play against a former team.”
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he had a cup of coffee earlier week with Ryan, and said he’s “been very helpful.” During the course of the season, Ryan has been credited with assisting the team’s younger players leading up to games.
One player Ryan knows well is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a guy he competed against in practices. This season, Ryan has already faced two others quarterbacks he worked with as a Patriot -- Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett and 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The Patriots traded both players away in 2017.
“It has been a crazy year for all of them,” Ryan said. “Obviously they have a good system to have three quarterbacks to be able to start in this league, and play well in this league. Obviously 12 (Brady) is the leader of the bunch there. So we have our work cut out for us, like we did last week. But we are not afraid of it, and we are up for the challenge. It is a special time in Tennessee right now and a lot of people are getting behind us.”
Ryan said the Titans will need to be ready for noise, and Brady.
He’s looking forward to the challenge.
“They are the home team, they are the favorites, and they are going to be confident. It’s going to be rocking,” Ryan said of the Patriots, and Gillette Stadium. “But it’s not going to be louder than Kansas City - it’s probably the loudest venue I’ve been in. So it won’t be any louder. Obviously it will be a special feeling up there.
“(Tom) can make every throw there is, and he can throw it to everybody,” he continued. “So everybody has to be on their Ps and Qs and do their job. And we have to bring it. We can’t be mentally defeated out there walking around. Everyone has to do their job to help the team.”
Titans players take the field for Thursday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)