Ryan read to area children on Sunday at Tufts University's "Read By The River" for the Patriots Charitable Foundation. He says he has thought about the possibility of moving up the depth chart in the secondary, and if that's the case, he hopes he'll be ready.
"I think the Patriots are always about getting the best players on the field, and I think that starts in the offseason, so I'm trying to have the best offseason I've had, and when it's time to move up the depth chart, hopefully I'll be ready."
Ryan finished with a team-high five interceptions as a rookie, and also notched 10 passes defensed. He started seven games when Talib and Alfonzo Dennard were out with injuries, and he played 607 defensive snaps on the season (57.4 percent) according to Pro Football Focus.
As Talib's teammate, Ryan says the requests for inside information have been frequent, but he has nothing to offer.
"I see what everyone else sees. That's about it. People try to ask me for inside information, and I'm just watching SportsCenter like everyone else," he said. "Aqib's a great guy, he's a great player. I've learned a lot from him. I would love to play with him more, but I also wish him the best for him and his family and the decision he has to make, and the decision the Patriots have to make."
Ryan may be asked very soon to put to use some of what he's learned from Talib, if the star cornerback departs in free agency.
Here are some more thoughts from Ryan's media-based Q&A:
Why are you here?:
"You know, I'm here to give back and encourage kids to read at a young age. It helped me along the way, it helped me pick up the playbook. Any opportunity you have to give back to kids — I remember, you know, being in their shoes and any type of athlete that would ever come back, it definitely meant a lot."
Have you done community service before?:
"Yeah, I have. I was [doing] a lot during the holidays — Vince Wilfork's event and the Thanksgiving baskets and stuff. It was definitely something I wanted to experience my rookie year, and now I understand how important it is to the organization to give back and I've really bought into it."
Are you in the area working out?:
"Whenever they ask, I try to show up and make an appearance. And I've been in the area — I'm already training, and I'm excited about next year but I'm also excited to have a good year under my belt to make an impact in the community."
Changes in offseason approach?:
"It's cranked up. It's cranked up. Last year, it was a long year, coming from the college season and the combine. [When you] get drafted, you're kind of wide-eyed, but now I kind of know what to expect, and I'm just trying to get bigger, faster, stronger, and have a good sophomore campaign."
Biggest takeaway from last year that could help improve:
"Last year was my first time doing it — doing the NFL season — so any time you do something a second or third time, you're going to be a lot more successful at it, and I understood that it's a long year, so I want to pace myself, but at the same time, I want to get off to a good start and really have a lot of fun."
Takeaways from AFC Championship loss:
"It's hard to win championships in professional sports. You know, 31 teams went home unhappy last year, and we made it pretty far, but not as far as we wanted to. So we have the same goal this year, just get back to a Super Bowl and win a championship."
Anything make it easier to move on from:
"Just the way it is, I've been playing sports for a long time, I understand it wasn't [our year] last year, so we're trying to make it this year."
Any Rutgers kids we should be looking for in this coming draft?:
"I'm excited, I'll be back at [Rutgers'] Pro Day this Wednesday, and they'll have me on set, so I'll have my sports cap on and I'll be analyzing for the Patriots."
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