Buddy Ryan, the mastermind behind the 1985 Chicago Bears' defense and father of popular current-day coaches, Rex and Rob Ryan, has died of cancer at the age of 82, according to multiple reports.
Rex Ryan, coaching the New York Jets at the time his father was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, made this memorable quote in an interview with the New York Daily News:
"He’s tougher than (expletive)," Rex said of his father. "He’s had other things in his life. He overcame encephalitis. He’s overcome cancer twice. He’s tough."
Ryan was the Vikings' defensive line coach coach from 1976-77 back when he was coaching a base 4-3 defense. A handful a years later he moved a linebacker to the line of scrimmage and starting blitzing like crazy in a defense called "46." More on that from NFL.com.
"His innovation as a blitz-crazed defensive line coach for the New York Jets lifted the team to its only Super Bowl victory in franchise history back in 1969 on the heels of such gems as the "Cheeseburger Blitz" and "Taco Bell Blitz." He was also one of the creative forces behind Minnesota's "Purple People Eaters" defenses back in the mid-1970s."
The 1985 Bears' defense held seven opponents to 10 points or less and they pitched back-to-back shutouts to set the tone for the playoffs that season.