Seahawks’ Jon Ryan doesn’t take NFL life for granted
PHOENIX – After Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday, on the way back to the team hotel at the Arizona Grand Resort, Seahawks punter Jon Ryan looked out the tinted window of the bus and saw the Studio 6 Motel.
He lived there for a few months between his last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL and his first season with the Packers. After seeing the motel, Ryan Tweeted: “I’ll never take a single day in this league for granted.”
NFL players now stay at the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons or places like the luxurious Arizona Grand Resort.
On Wednesday, as reporters scrambled for position to hear Marshawn Lynch say absolutely nothing, Ryan sat at a table with long-snapper Clint Gresham. Kicker Steven Hauschka stood nearby, holding court with a few reporters.
In 2005, after leading the CFL with a 50.6-yard punting average, Ryan wanted to give the NFL a shot. He came to Arizona to practice in good weather. He stayed for three months at the Studio 6, paying $27 a night. During the mornings he would go to a nearby soccer field and punt three footballs that he bought online. They were all around $39 each.
“It’s all I could afford,” he said.
One after the other, he would punt the balls, then go to the other end of the field to retrieve them and punt them again. Back and forth.
“I was by myself,” Ryan said.
The practice and experience in the CFL paid off. Seahawks general manager John Schneider, who was working in Green Bay’s front office at the time, called Ryan and offered him a contract. Ryan punted for the Packers for two years and has been with the Seahawks since 2008.