Between defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley and head coach Greg Schiano, who calls the plays defensively, Ryan has plenty of coaching experience to look to for advice.
"I was so excited when we hired Jeff Hafley, knowing that I'd have Darrelle Revis' coach and Devin McCourty's coach in both my ears," Ryan said. "That's the best advantage, I think, in the country for me and as a secondary, as a defense. They give me great tips. They work me hard, but I'm just trying to live up to their expectations."
The biggest difference for Ryan, other than another year of experience, is Schiano on play-calling duties.
With Schiano calling every play defensively, Ryan said he feels more confident than last season.
"We have a great defensive coach, I love this defense," Ryan said. "I get a lot of freedom to kind of press and confuse receivers with what I want to do. He did a great job of getting us the call to play. He says, we'll be fine if we can just play defense and not be running around or not knowing what to do. He just gave me the ball quick [and] I can just focus on doing my job. I would look up a lot of times and Justin Francis and Wayne Warren and Khaseem Greene were giving Sunseri a tough day. It made my job easier."
Against Pittsburgh, Ryan had two of the team's four interceptions. His second interception went for six points the other way, Ryan's first touchdown since his days at Eastern High School (Voorhees, N.J.).
"I'm getting better every game and literally every play," Ryan said. "... It's kind of just putting my head down and just grinding really. When I look up, I'm starting to see some success.
"It's just reps in practice building on top of each other. [I am] trying to be great every play and not settle for anything less. That's coming from Schiano coaching me every single day and being hard on me after games previously in the season. He was hard on me [Sunday] after that game too, so it's just staying humble and keep working."
On preparing for Navy…
"Navy, they run the ball a lot, but they count on the big play. Corners falling asleep and the secondary falling asleep, that's how they need to score points. They need to hit two or three of those a game. So I think, it that just makes my job that much harder, just to be precise every play, knowing that they might run the ball six or seven times before they throw it. I think that makes your job harder as a corner because you have to be on your A-game every play, and not get caught surprised. "
On the continually improving secondary…
"It's just constant repetition. I think, as a secondary, we're feeling comfortable enough that when we're in position to go get the ball, it's not good enough just to be there anymore. I think we expect to make plays on the ball now and that's what we've been doing. It's not just me though, it's a bunch of guys. Duron Harmon is playing out of his mind. David Rowe is a solid player. Cooper and Brandon Jones, whoever is on the other side, is putting in solid work too. I think the credit goes to the whole secondary because they didn't have a good day passing and I think you have to [credit] our whole defense for that."
"I think nothing's better than an interception, but you look at a great corner like Darrelle Revis and he's just known for taking players out of the game. I think it's a combination. I just think it's doing your job. Coach Schiano asks me to deny my man the ball. Whoever I'm covering, don't let him catch it and if I catch it, that's even better. I think it just comes down to taking advantage of those opportunities. Corners get graded on the few opportunities that they get and the [last] game, I took advantage of those opportunities."