BOSTON (CBS) – Could the Patriots be converting another promising young cornerback to safety?
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reported on Wednesday that the Patriots were “strongly considering” moving Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan to safety to pair with fellow Rutgers product Devin McCourty.
McCourty was drafted as a corner too, and in his rookie year made second team All-Pro for his seven interceptions, 82 tackles and two forced fumbles. But a disappointing sophomore effort in 2011, followed by a slow start to 2012 (plus the acquisition of Aqib Talib) allowed McCourty to play safety full time and he’s been there ever since.
It appears the Patriots might be trying that out again with Ryan, and at the very least just wanna see how it looks.
The report comes as a mild surprise, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has often said that his goal is to put the best 11 players on the field.
Last year as a rookie Ryan had five interceptions and 35 tackles while playing in 16 games and starting seven after being drafted in the third round, 83rd overall.
On Thursday’s show, Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak were not surprised by the idea of moving Ryan. Gresh sees it as the Patriots trying to get more coverage people on the field to go against high-powered offenses like Denver.
“I understand what the Patriots are trying to do,” Gresh said. “They’re trying to get as many cover people on the field as they can.”
Gresh sees the move, however, as putting more pressure on the Patriots to keep Wilfork. According to Gresh, Wilfork, one of the best run-stuffing nose tackles in the league, would be needed up front to keep the running game honest with smaller defensive backs that aren’t as good against the run.
Zo thinks Wilfork is coming back regardless. In terms of X’s and O’s, Zo sees Ryan playing more of the robber role due to his coverage skills.
“Browner and Revis are going to play on an island,” Zo said. “And you’re rolling that safety down to wherever that nickel slot is. Safety now becomes the robber. Maybe that’s why Logan Ryan can do it. Logan Ryan is pretty damn good in coverage too.”