FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots worked cornerback Marquice Cole at safety during offseason camps last year, and head coach Bill Belichick has kept the door open to second-year cornerback Logan Ryan doing the same thing this year.
But to this point, it hasn't happened.
"I think it's just pure speculation," Ryan said Thursday night after taking part in a Patriots- and NFL-sponsored safety clinic for mothers. "In New England, the best players are going to play on the field, regardless.
"We have a great corner room. We have a great safety room. We have a lot of great defensive backs I'm trying to learn from right now, guys that have many Pro Bowls under their belt. I'm trying to learn from all of them, learning the nuances of the position."
The 5-foot-11 Ryan, who weighs between 195 and 200 pounds, is open for all possibilities. He had a productive rookie season after being drafted in the third round (83rd overall), playing 51.7 percent of the defensive snaps and totaling a team-high five interceptions. He mostly played corner, but also had safety-type responsibilities in some game-specific packages.
With the Patriots signing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner as veteran free agents, it could make it harder for Ryan to break through in the starting lineup (he had seven starts last year) at cornerback, where third-year veteran Alfonzo Dennard and six-year veteran Kyle Arrington are also high up on the depth chart.
But he's not looking at it that way.
"I played in many spots last year and I'm sure I'll play in many spots this year. So it's nothing new to me," he said. "‘The NFL is a league that's always changing so we're always going to try to do some different stuff on defense and I'm just trying to be a part of it."
Ryan has naturally been more comfortable this offseason, mainly because of familiarity.
"I have a year under my belt and I know what to expect each and every day and now I'm just focusing on the little things and trying to make the jump from Year 1 to Year 2," he said. "It's been different [this year] in the sense of knowing the defense, knowing the scheme."
On a personal note, one of the highlights of his offseason was going back to school and earning his degree from Rutgers.
"It was always something I wanted to do. Now that is out of the way, it's 100 percent on football and improving my game," he said.