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Why Ryan knew 49ers were ‘special team' after initial tryout

Why Ryan knew 49ers were ‘special team' after initial tryout originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Logan Ryan was a part of several great NFL rosters, but it didn't take him long into the 2023 season to realize how special that 49ers' team was.

The former 49ers safety, who announced his retirement from the NFL in April, joined "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd and recalled the exact moment he knew the 49ers team he was trying out for was different.

“I walked in on a Tuesday, a typical NFL off day," Ryan explained. "You might have a handful of players in there on an off day. I mean, some guys get out of the building because you’re in there six days a week. Maybe 10 guys are in there on an off day, guys who need treatment, guys who are banged up.

"I’d say [the 49ers] probably had 30 to 40 guys in the weight room working out. All the stars in there working out. I haven’t seen anything like that since a couple New England years were like that. [Tom] Brady in there and everyone following suit. So [Brock] Purdy was in there rolling out, Christian [McCaffrey] was in there squatting, [Nick] Bosa. Everyone was in there and I was going in for a tryout. I was coming off the cruise just trying to try out."

Ryan, an 11-year NFL veteran, shared at the time that he was on a Bahamian cruise with his family when he received word that San Francisco potentially was interested in signing him.

With the injuries to All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga and special teams ace George Odum, the addition of Ryan gave San Francisco's secondary a much-needed boost down the stretch of the 2023 season.

And despite Ryan's unfamiliarity with California or the West Coast, he felt at home with the 49ers right away.

"I was in [the weight room] with them every Tuesday as well," Ryan said. "I remember telling my parents and my wife, I’m like, 'This team is gonna be a special team.' "

Special it was, and despite falling just short of bringing their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy back to the Bay in a heartbreaking Super Bowl LVIII loss, Ryan has the utmost confidence the 49ers have the talent -- and certainly the determination -- to get back to the big stage.

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