Buddy Ryan, Former NFL Coach and Father of Buffalo Bills Coaches Rex and Rob Ryan, Passed Away
Buddy Ryan was a defensive genius in the 80's. As a matter of fact, he's credited with being the mastermind of the incredible '85 Bears defense. He coached for multiple teams over his career including the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and the Houston Oilers. Today, he passed away at 82 years old.
Ryan actually started his coaching career here in Buffalo. No...not as a Bills head coach, but as a defensive line coach at the University of Buffalo. While it was reported that Lou Saben, head coach of the Buffalo Bills at the time, had offered Ryan a job with the Bills, a raise of $2000 kept him at UB.
He went on to become one of the toughest coaches in the NFL over his 35 year career.
"Buddy was a legend in our league in so many ways," the Bills said in a statement issued Tuesday.
His defenses were innovative and he was a master at putting his talented and tough players in a position to succeed. He was a real game changer and much of his philosophies and defensive tactics are still utilized effectively by teams today. Buddy's influence will be carried on by defensive coaches for generations to come, but none more so than by Rex and Rob. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the Ryan family today."
Buddy had suffered a devastating stroke and was battling cancer. He is the father of Buffalo Bills head coaches Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan.