Logan Ryan showed up for sunrise workouts with dried sweat on his shirt.
As more than 2,500 NFL players banged pads during training camps, Ryan surprisingly remained unsigned until agreeing Monday to a one-year contract with the Giants. His response to inactivity was to hire trainers in Nashville, Tenn., (Jason Spray) and Tampa, Fla., (Yo Murphy) to keep pace from afar.
“Logan came out there with his helmet and pads every day, so I had to have the EMTs on high alert,” quipped Murphy, who had a 15-year professional football career. “He made me feel like I was going to pass out sometimes.”
Coming off a career-best season of 113 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and four forced fumbles while playing 99 percent of the snaps for the Tennessee Titans, Ryan is returning home as a product of New Jersey’s Eastern Regional High School and Rutgers. The Giants are adding a highly motivated seven-year veteran, his trainers told The Post.
“I felt like there was a chip on his shoulder,” Spray said. “He’s always kind of trained that way, but this offseason he was determined to prove some people wrong. He understood from the get-go that someone was going to give him an opportunity, and he mentioned several times he was hoping to go back home.”
Spray trained Ryan about three times per week from February through July, fitting agility and speed workouts with sleds and parachutes into Ryan’s regimen of Pilates, boxing and weight lifting. He participated in group workouts with Titans teammates Kenny Vaccarro and Kevin Byard and utilized a “full-size weight room” in his home during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Logan was not sitting by the pool with his feet kicked up,” Spray said. “There were times in the mornings where I was like, ‘Can you not run three miles today?’ and he was like, ‘I’ll do a mile or two.’ He’s prepared and ready to go.”
For what exactly? The Giants will deploy Ryan, 29, in a variety of roles, from slot cornerback to box safety to deep safety.
“He plays with a lot of instincts and intelligence, and that’s why he has been able to age seamlessly in the business,” said Blake Beddingfield, former director of scouting for the Titans (1999-2017) and owner of BeddingfieldSports.com. “He has a great concept of route combinations and the way offenses are trying to attack him and the defense.”
Ryan’s familiarity with the Giants defensive scheme and coaching staff — he, head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham overlapped with the New England Patriots — should minimize the adjustment period. Ryan was a rookie gunner when Judge was a second-year NFL special teams coach.
“We kind of learned a lot of stuff together,” Judge said. “He’s always looking to work on maybe something that hurt him the year before and he’s looking to always improve on his strengths.”
Ryan marketed himself as a safety in free agency. The combination of a lowered asking price ($7.5 million), a change in agents and a foot injury to Xavier McKinney kicked months of negotiations into high gear.
Today’s NFL offenses dictate defenses sub out linebackers for extra defensive backs, and Giants rookie Darnay Holmes likely will draw the shifty slot receivers.
“Logan is an excellent sub-package player in terms of being able to move around,” Beddingfield said. “He can match up versus the big slot — the JuJu Smith-Schuster-type. He can also match up on a flex tight end.
“The Titans used him in a number of different roles because he was a good tackler on the inside and a good blitzer from the nickel position. What they tried to do was to avoid situations where he got matched up on the inside with speed receivers, and the Giants are going to have to do that as well.”
Ryan relocated his family to Florida over the summer and turned to former NFL stars Ronde Barber and Vincent Jackson for the recommendation that led him to Yo Murphy Performance for the past six weeks. Using intel gathered from Ryan’s friends and Murphy’s clients around the league, they started simulating training camp practices.
A typical on-field script called for a warm-up, 8-10 reps in individual drills to concentrate on backpedaling and turning hips, 6-7 reps in read-and-recognition to call out different coverages and formations, and seven-on-seven live action.
“I learned pretty quickly what he was about; he is a very focused, structured guy,” Murphy said. “Our first workout was at 5:30 a.m. Sometimes my 5:30 client isn’t as motivated as him, so it was a good refresher to have somebody ready to do whatever it takes.”
Ryan still must pass through the COVID-19 entry protocol and is not expected to join the Giants before Thursday’s scrimmage, according to Judge.
“He is the type of guy if you pay $100 million, he is going to make sure you get $170 million worth,” Murphy said. “He didn’t want to sit out. He really wanted to play and get after it.”
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