Buddy Ryan, a longtime coach who built perhaps the greatest defense in NFL history with the 1985 Bears, has died at the age of 82.
Beloved by his players and hated by opposing offenses (and sometimes hated even by his own offenses), Ryan masterminded Chicago’s 46 defense that won Super Bowl XX. He later served as head coach of an Eagles team that had a great defense in its own right, and ended his coaching career as head coach of the Cardinals in 1994 and 1995.
During his 35-season coaching career, Ryan served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, and the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers. His career as a pro football coach began in 1961 as a defensive line coach with the Bills, and in 1968 he moved to the Jets, helping them win Super Bowl III. He spent two years with the Vikings in 1976 and 1977 before George Halas hired him to coach the Bears’ defense in 1978.
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