It’s Friday, Addicts, and time for another weekly roundup of all the NFL news and rumors from around the league. This time of the year is known as a dead period for news. However, this week we got a few headlines to discuss.
More from Kansas City Chiefs News
- Former Chiefs cornerback in legal trouble in Las Vegas
- Chiefs news: Travis Kelce wants to host fan ‘chug-off’ in Germany
- KC Chiefs send Dave Merritt to NFL coaching accelerator
- Creed Humphrey lands on PFF’s Top 25 Under 25 list
- Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams prove themselves away from star quarterbacks
There were a few stories this week that I could have given the lead to. The NFL’s PED investigation stemming from the al-Jazeera report is getting underway. Johnny Manziel’s saga has taken a turn that actually ties him to the league again, though not in a way he’d like. But as captivating as those headlines are, there’s no way that this week’s lead story could go to any topic other than the passing of one of the NFL’s true legends.
Lead Story: A Legend Passes
This past week, the NFL lost one of the most irreplaceable presences it’s ever known. Long time coach and defensive guru, Buddy Ryan, passed away at age 85. In obituaries, they often discuss who the deceased is survived by. In this case, we can expand that to Buddy’s legacy, as it is survived by his sons Rex and Rob Ryan who both currently coach in the NFL.
Known for his big time defenses and his big time personality, Buddy Ryan is perhaps one of the most respected individuals to have ever coached in the NFL. The father of Rex, the current Buffalo Bills Head Coach, and Rob, a journeyman Defensive Coordinator currently also with the Bills, Buddy Ryan first put his mark on the NFL by instilling one of the single greatest units to have ever graced the gridiron…the ’85 Bears defense.
But Buddy’s legend goes well beyond that historic defense. The persona that was Buddy Ryan is unrivaled in NFL lore. Ryan is the offensive coordinator who cold cocked his own offensive coordinator, a much younger and larger man. Ryan is the coach who had no problem making fun of his own players. The head coach who was accused of putting out hit lists on opposing players. The assistant coach who was hoisted on the shoulders of his players as his boss, Mike Ditka, was not.
Beyond all of that though, there is an enduring legacy. One that is sadly overlooked far too often. Buddy Ryan has left a legacy of defensive coaching that thrives in today’s NFL. The 46 Defense that was made famous by the ’85 Bears is now the cornerstone of pass rushing in the league.
Jeff Fisher, Ron Rivera, and (obviously) Rex Ryan are among the head coaches to have learned under him. Leslie Frazier, Mike Singletary, Wade Phillips and (again obviously) Rob Ryan are among the defensive coordinators he guided. Even the Chiefs own Bob Sutton is a branch on the Buddy Ryan coaching tree through Sutton’s time with the Jets as an assistant to Rex Ryan.
Defensive football in the NFL is what it is today because of Buddy Ryan. His philosophies, when executed properly, can propel coaches who would be otherwise incompetent to the absolute heights of the league. There are few who ever have (or ever will) left the kind of mark on football that Buddy Ryan has. We should all be glad that we have witnessed the fruits of his labor.
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