Architect of the 46 defense Buddy Ryan..

June 30, 2016

The NFL community just lost one of their greatest defensive minds. Buddy Ryan passed away at the age of 84. Ryan began his coaching career and Gainesville High School in Gainesville Texas in 1957 as an assistant Dub Wooton. In 1959 Wooton would become Head Coach at Marshall High School, Ryan was promoted to head coach and after one season he moved on to become Athletic Director at Marshall. After the Korean War where Ryan served as a sergeant in the US Army, Ryan would return to coaching as defensive line coach for the University of Buffalo. The buffalo Bulls were getting ready for the first season as a division 1 program in the NCAA. From 1962 through 1965 the Buffalo Bulls defense were the league leaders in the nation. In 1968 is when Ryan would move onto the Pros as defensive line coach for the AFL's New York Jets. It was during this time Ryan would develop multiple Blitz packages(i.e. "59 Blitz" the "Taco Blitz" and "Cheeseburger Blitz"). The New York Jets would eventually win Super Bowl III beating the Baltimore Colts and giving Ryan his first championship rings. Ryan's next stop would be the Minnesota Vikings and the Purple People Eaters. Anchored by defensive ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshell, defensive tackles Alan Page & Gary Larsen. In 1976 the Vikings would win the NFC Championship and go on to face the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings lost to the Raiders 32 to 14. In 1978 George Halas brought Ryan in as defensive coordinator, this is where Ryan's famous "46 defense" was created. Ryan and new head coach Mike Ditka  "feuded openly". Ditka would challenge Ryan to a fight during at halftime of nationally televised game versus the Miami Dolphins where the Bears were trailing 31-10 and a 12-0 record on the line. Bears would lose that game. The Bears won Super Bowl XX that year, dominating the New England Patriots in a 42 to 10 victory. The defense carried Ryan off the field which was unheard of. Coach Ryan  would get his first opportunity as head coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. Coach didn't have much success with the Eagles, but quickly turned the team into NFC contenders with future Hall of Fames Herm Edwards, Cris Carter, Ron Jaworski, Reggie White. After his stint with the Eagles, Ryan move on to become the defensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers in 1993 helping the team to a 11 game win streak. Ryan was know for his passion for the game, during a nationally televised game Ryan and offensive coordinator  Kevin Gilbride would get into a heated exchange. The Oilers would make the playoffs but would lose to the Kansas City Chiefs. The following season Coach Ryan would get his second shot as head coach with the Arizona Cardinals posting a 8-8 record in only season with the team. A impressive 35-year coaching career, Coach Ryan has left his mark in football. His legacy will always be remembered as the innovator of the "46 defense", and his overall love of the game. Coach Ryan leaves behind sons Jim, and fraternal twins Rex and Rob who just like their father coach in the NFL. Thanks coach

"QBs are overpaid, overrated, pompous bastards and must be punished. ... A quarterback has never completed a pass when he was flat on his back." Buddy Ryan

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