Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan has died

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CHICAGO — The NFL lost one of its most colorful and innovative defensive legends on Tuesday morning as Buddy Ryan died at the age of 82.

Ryan, the father of Bills head coach Rex Ryan and Buffalo defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, was one of the most brash, bold men in NFL history.

The former Eagles coach was most notable for his stretch with the Chicago Bears — Ryan was Chicago’s defensive coordinator from 1978-1985, inventing the “46” defense and constructing perhaps the greatesg defense in NFL history, the 1985 Bears. Mike Ditka, hired in 1982 by George Halas, retained Ryan, but the two weren’t really fond of one another.

The success in Chicago landed Ryan the head coaching position with the Philadelphia Eagles, where Ryan went 43-38-1 in five years (and 0-3 in the playoffs).

As highlighted in our recent “Good, Bad, Ugly and Bizarre” series, Ryan was a fairly controversial figure in Philly.

He battled it out publicly with Jimmy Johnson in Bounty Bowl — parts I and II — and wasn’t particularly friendly with previous Cowboys coach, Tom Landry either. Ryan notably ran up the score on Landry and Dallas during a 1987 Cowboys-Eagles game, continuing to throw the ball with 30 seconds left and his team up 10.

Keith Byers would plunge into the end zone with two seconds on the clock to really rub it in.

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