FOXBORO - There may be questions about where Logan Ryan will play for the Patriots next season, but whether its safety or cornerback, he will be doing it as a college graduate.
The second-year veteran from Rutgers completed 12 of the 15 hours remaining toward graduation during the spring semester, and will polish off the last three before the start of training camp. And because he was on a fast track toward graduation, he was permitted to participate in the graduation exercises last month at the state university of New Jersey.
"It was great," he said. "It was something that I committed to, being a student-athlete, and leaving early, I accomplished one of my goals and dreams to become an NFL player. But I also got my second one, which was graduating from college."
Ryan, who left Rutgers as a junior, took most of his credit courses online. But according to the Newark Star-Ledger, one of his classes required in-person final exams at the Piscataway, N.J., campus. That required a lot of commuting between Foxboro and the Garden State for him to remain in the team's conditioning program.
Ryan finished with a grade-point average of 3.4 and will graduate with a degree in labor relations and a minor in psychology.
He'll also be tested in the weeks to come in a football sense; although he led all rookies last year with five interceptions, the additions of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to the cornerback corps have presented a bit of a conundrum to the safety-challenged Patriots' secondary. Reportedly, Ryan may see action there in training camp, as it is Bill Belichick's practice to instruct players in the techniques of different positions because of either a perceived need, or as a safety net for when such a need might arise.
"Right now I'm at corner," Ryan said Thursday after the Patriots' organized team activity practice, "but I'm prepared for anything. I'm just trying to become a better defensive back."
Thursday was the 73rd birthday of Patriots' owner Robert Kraft, as well as the 26th birthday of backup quarterback (for the time being) Ryan Mallett and the 38th birthday of former third-down back Kevin Faulk
The signing of former Carolina and Chicago linebacker James Anderson was met with glowing praise from another ex-Panther, wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who spent the first three years of his NFL career on the same team with him.
"It surprised me," LaFell said. "He texted me a few weeks ago, and yesterday I came into the locker room and I'm seeing that they're putting 'James Anderson' up (on a locker), and he came walking through the door. I'm like, 'I thought you were joking.' And he said, 'No, man, I was dead serious. I had the workout and everything.' It turned out pretty good.
LaFell said the Patriots are getting a quality player.
"He's a great guy," he said. "He's a hard worker, he's a guy that's going to do everything that the club asks him to do." ...
The brand-new FieldTurf playing surface inside Gillette Stadium was covered Thursday by dirt and fresh sod for use in tonight's pre-World Cup "friendly" soccer match between Mexico and Portugal. Apparently, the new artificial turf still doesn't meet the standards set by FIFA, the world's governing body for soccer, for international matches.