Patriots kicker Chad Ryland is ‘no coward to a challenge’




Patriots

“We’re putting that chapter in the back and we’re always gonna look out the windshield.”

Chad Ryland is looking to move past last year’s struggles. Matthew J. Lee / The Boston Globe

Chad Ryland isn’t dwelling on his rookie season in New England, and for good reason. 

He was a fourth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, with the Patriots hoping the gifted kicker from the University of Maryland would replace Nick Folk and serve as a key cog on New England’s special-teams unit. 

The results were far from encouraging in 2023, with the rookie only converting 64 percent (16 of 25) of his field-goal attempts last season. Ryland might remain on New England’s roster, but the team also signed veteran kicker Joey Slye earlier this month

Ryland will face plenty of hurdles this summer once training camp gets underway, but the 24-year-old kicker echoed a mantra from his collegiate team when asked of his approach for the 2024 season. 

“The Terp motto is TBIA: ‘The best is ahead. I’m certainly looking forward to it. I’m no coward to a challenge and want to continue to grow in my craft and will hopefully grow each year and take each offseason moving forward through how many years I’m blessed to play as serious as I did this offseason,” Ryland said on Wednesday after New England’s latest OTA session.

Even though Ryland struggled to string together consistent play last season, Jerod Mayo stressed that an overhauled coaching staff and a new approach should help Ryland refocus in 2024 and beyond. 

“His mentality is that it is a new year,” Mayo said of Ryland’s approach in 2024. “We always talk about changing the page, we always talked about that the past ten years or whatever, changing the page. I think he has done a good job of that. We have new coaches as well, and so they are working with him, not only on his technique, but building that confidence and that starts right now.”

Ryland, who noted that has made some adjustments to his kicking mechanics while working with new special teams coordinator Jeremy Springer, hit four of his five field-goal attempts during Wednesday’s work on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

Even though Ryland has plenty of work to do when it comes to moving past last season’s struggles, he does have several supporters in New England’s locker room, especially on special teams. 

“The kid has always been the hardest worker I’ve probably ever met,” Patriots punter Bryce Baringer said of Ryland’s resilience. “He cares so much. It’s a new year now and we’re working on the goals for this season. We’re putting that chapter in the back and we’re always gonna look out the windshield, not the rearview.”





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