TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – For the past four seasons, safety Ryan Neal has been playing for the Seattle Seahawks, but during his off-seasons, he’s been training in the Bay Area, so there’s already a sense of familiarity as he now joins the Bucs.
“It’s like home part two to me man,” Neal said. “This is a sweet opportunity for real — couldn’t pass it up. I could not pass it up. Like I said, what better place to be than Tampa man? I love it down here, love the energy and like I said, just familiarity so I’m glad to be here.”
From being an undrafted free agent, cut multiple times and fighting to make rosters since 2018, Neal has worked his way to becoming a starting safety in the NFL and is embracing this point in his career.
“It’s a new chapter now,” Neal said. “I actually had a good conversation with one of my closest friends the other day, just talking to him about the scars that I’ve been through and everything. He was like, ‘You do understand one day you’re not that guy anymore.’ You know what I mean? You’ve got to move on because you stay back there, you can’t grow. You have to understand, yeah that was you but now it’s a different time. So being here just starts a new chapter for me. The underdog mentality? Cool, but now, ehh it’s not that (anymore). It’s time to step into what you need to step into.”
So what kind of player can Bucs fans expect?
“A dude who just plays with will and plays with desperation,” Neal said in describing his style of play. “That’s the best way I can describe it. I just play fast. I give it everything I’ve got and that’s kind of how I’ve been. My journey is based off that so it shows when I play — the passion of it, the desperation of it, trying to get from point A to point B as fast as you can and just really trying to be consistent.”