An apology to Logan Ryan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – I screwed up Tuesday. I might suffer long-term consequences for it.

I hope not, but either way, I spend a lot of time asking people to be accountable, so I am here to be so myself.

Mike Vrabel gave what I thought was a bad answer to a question about leadership at the start of the week, saying that he didn’t tie production to leadership, he tied production to good players.Cornerback Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans

On Logan Ryan’s show on The Midday 180 the next afternoon, I asked him about that and he told a story about a gathering of Patriots defensive leaders in which they talked about that very thing and agreed that production was a necessary ingredient in leadership.

I did not preface the question to Ryan with what Vrabel had said, nor did I fill Ryan in after his answer with what Vrabel had said. The moment his time with us on the phone was over, I texted Ryan a tweet of a video of what Vrabel had said. He reflected on it a bit and I texted that he should say what he said there on the record to flesh out the context of the different stances.

He declined and said he wanted to stay out of it.


I presumed he was saying he wanted to stay out of anything further, as what Vrabel said was public and what he’d just said on the radio was public -- naturally available for further public discussion.

And I wrote a post showing the Vrabel video and using the Ryan audio. I thought I delicately phrased things and I clearly said I was not pitting them against each other. Here are two guys who had similar success with the Patriots who have different feelings about the importance of production in leadership. That’s interesting. I lean toward Ryan’s feelings. “A disagreement on a topic doesn't mean a disconnect on the team,” I wrote.

Ryan, though, thought I had agreed not to write anything at all.

Under no circumstances would I ever tell a guy I wouldn’t write something and then go write it. There is no previous example in over 26 years doing this of a source or subject suggesting I did such a thing. This was a complete misunderstanding and a miscommunication for which I apologize. When Ryan reached out to me to ask what happened I called him and we talked about it and I told him that, apologizing profusely.

apple icon 144x144 precomposedI sought him out in the locker room Wednesday to tell him so again, to apologize again and to discuss it further. He wasn’t there during the media window.

To him and others who feel involved: I’m sorry. It was too careless by me, and I understand why it may have made you angry.

I’m no locker room favorite as I can be gruff and indelicate. It’s my job to come in there and ask hard questions you may not like, especially at a time like this when things are not going well. But I’m there to be approached if you take issue. I've won professional respect from some players over 23 years covering this team from operating that way.

One person who took issue with the whole development let me know it, but even as he did, he called me a good journalist.

A good journalist had a bad moment and wrote a bad post. That’s not gone, but I hope you find this a better one.

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