Jon Ryan attended the University of Regina and was drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL. He was signed by the Green Bay Packers and is now a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Jon had a great season and was amongst the best punters in the league. Please enjoy the interview with Jon and leave a comment below.
Tom Mullins- At what age did you start playing football and how did you get into the sport?
Jon Ryan- I started playing football at the age of 8. I really got in to football by watching my hometown CFL team the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Tom Mullins- Did you enjoy playing running back for Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in high school?
Jon Ryan- Growing up I was always an athlete. In High school I lettered in 5 sports so as a football player I wanted to play running back cause I knew I would get the most touches playing at that position.
Tom Mullins- Tell us about your time at the University of Regina, where you played for the Rams and won a number of awards.
Jon Ryan- Playing for the Rams was a lot of fun. I got to stay at home and play for the team I grew up watching. At the U of R they allowed me not just to kick and punt but to be a big part of the offense by playing receiver which I really enjoyed.
Tom Mullins- What was it like playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and then being signed by the Green Bay Packers?
Jon Ryan- Growing up it was one of my dreams to play in the CFL so when the Bombers drafted me I was thrilled. Playing there for 2 years was a blast. The CFL was a stepping to stone to get me to the NFL. Without the CFL I would have never been seen by NFL teams. Being signed by the Packers was one of the greatest thrills of my life. It really felt like all my hard work up to that point had paid off.
Tom Mullins- During your first season in the NFL, your father became ill and passed away. You won the Ed Block Courage Award as voted on by your teammates for being an inspiration in the locker room. How much did it mean to you when you received the award?
Jon Ryan- Receiving the Ed Block Courage Award was a huge honor. It’s an award voted on by your teammates so it meant a lot to me that my teammates respected me enough and recognized what I went through.
Tom Mullins- How nervous were you when you made your NFL debut against the Bears?
Jon Ryan- I was pretty nervous. Playing at Lambeau Field is a pretty awesome experience. I didn’t play great that day but I got through it and got my first game under my belt and they got easier and easier after that.
Tom Mullins- After having a great first season for the Seahawks, you were given a 6 year extension. Did it then feel like all your hard work had payed off?
Jon Ryan- The Seahawks giving me that 6 year extension meant a lot of things to me. I was cut by the Packers and was without a job just 16 months prior to signing that contract so It said a lot to me that the Seahawks thought enough of me that they wanted to make me a part of their long term plans. To that point in my career I had played 2 years in the CFL and 4 in the NFL never making more that league minimum. While I would never complain about league minimum as it is still a very generous amount of money, it was nice to get a signing bonus and be making a bit more so that I could start putting some money away for the future as well as help my family out.
Tom Mullins- Having played in four playoff games, describe the atmosphere when you’re out on the field.
Jon Ryan- Playoff football is amazing. Every game in the NFL is exciting as a player to play in but playoff games take that excitement to another level. I hope that this team can win the NFC West again this season and we can bring playoff football back to the C-link.
Tom Mullins- What can we expect from you and the Seattle Seahawks next season?
Jon Ryan- I think we are going to pick up right where we left off last season. We had a great second half and we are going to build on that success.
Thanks for giving up your time to answer a few questions and good luck for next season.