NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When a cornerback drops an interception, the announcers tell us that’s why he’s playing on defense.
He works with the Jugs machine after practice catching passes with receivers, sometimes longer than receivers, he said in a Tuesday visit with The Midday 180.
Ryan mentioned his time working with current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano when he used to coach the corners at Rutgers, where Ryan went to school.
“You know how a lot of guys have interceptions and PBUs (pass break-ups)?” Ryan said. “He would have a stat called CTOTTY. And that would mean, ‘Catch the ones they throw you.’ It’s not a PBU if you drop an interception.
“He used to say if you caught all the ones the quarterbacks threw you, you would lead the league in picks, you would lead college or whatever in interceptions. That’s something I took from college."
Ryan, who played quarterback at Eastern High School in Voorhees, N.J., said he’s always had good hands.
“And I’m like, ‘Why don’t corners do that?’” Ryan said. “So I started hopping in. We’ll have hands competitions, drops, you know, you see how guys do on Instagram on the Jugs. I just try to catch at least 100 balls a day with the receivers or without them.
“I think it’s helped my interceptions throughout the years, and I feel confident when the ball is in the air to go get it because I rep it as much as the receivers do, and I hate when DBs get the bad rap for not having good hands or guys who can’t catch. So I’m trying to change that.”
Ryan had 13 interceptions in his four seasons with the Patriots and said he is up there with the best of the best on the defense in New England in terms of catching the balls that were thrown to him.