For those that may be too young to appreciate how special Buddy Ryan was, try to envision a team in today’s era of the NFL winning a Super Bowl, and then subsequently carrying not their head coach, but rather their defensive coordinator off the field.
Need another event that you’ll never see again? Imagine a modern day head coach clocking his own coordinator in the face on the sideline of a game.
Defensive coordinator at the time with the Houston Oilers, his time there will be remembered by the punch, when the then-59-year-old Ryan took a swing at then-offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride on the sideline during a game.
Times were different then, and Buddy Ryan was one hell of a different kind of coach.
Early Tuesday morning, confirmed but his agent James Solano, it was confirmed that Ryan had died at the age of 82. Ryan had been suffering the after-effects of a stroke while battling cancer at the same time.
Ryan coached in the NFL for a 35 season stent, and will be remembered as the architect for the most feared and to the day, the greatest defensive of all time – the 85 Bears.
Ryan won his first Super Bowl on the defensive staff of the New York Jets in Super Bowl III in 1968. In Super Bowl XX, Ryan and his defense destroyed the New England Patriots 46-10. Coach Ryan later coached the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, finishing his career with an even record of 55-55-1 (ESPN) in his seven seasons as a head coach.
Buddy did live long enough to see not just one, but both of his sons join forces on the same coaching staff in the NFL, though he’ll unfortunately never be able to see them both on the sideline together.
RIP to arguably the greatest defensive mind the game of football has ever seen.