One week ago, on June 28th, 2016, the football world said goodbye to a legend.
Buddy Ryan was perhaps the greatest defensive mastermind in the history of the NFL. The man behind the greatest defense of all-time (1985 Chicago Bears) passed away at the age of 85. Buddy Ryan may be gone, but the impact he had on the game of football and the NFL will continue to live on. He was the creator of the 46 defense, which remains very popular in the NFL today and his sons Rex and Rob carry on his tradition as defensive gurus in the NFL.
Buddy Ryan has strong ties to the New York Jets organization as he was their defensive line coach from 1968 to 1975, and his son Rex was the Jets Head Coach from 2009 to 2014. Rex Ryan is one of four head coaches hired by Woody Johnson under his tenure as the New York Jets Owner. Johnson and Ryan had a very close relationship during their time together, but unfortunately in the end; Ryan was not getting results on the field causing Johnson to fire his friend.
Even though the Jets and Rex Ryan have had a rocky relationship since the end of their tenure together, Johnson showed a great sense of class by paying tribute to Ryan's father after his passing. Johnson tweeted a picture of Rex, Rob, and Buddy Ryan together, with the quote "One of your greatest achievements is having your sons follow in your footsteps. RIP Buddy." The tweet to me symbolized the gratitude that Johnson has for everything Rex Ryan achieved while coaching the Jets as without Buddy as a great mentor, Rex Ryan probably doesn't get the Jets to 2 AFC Championship appearances. A proud moment to be a Jets fan as our Owner put football aside to pay respect to a man that is partially responsible for some of our greatest successes.
Rest in Peace, Buddy Ryan.