Terry and Kim Pegula and the Buffalo Bills organization want to express their deepest sympathies and condolences to Rex, Rob and the entire Ryan family on the passing of their dad, Buddy Ryan. Buddy was a legend in our league in so many ways. His defenses were innovative and he was a master at putting his talented and tough players in a position to succeed. He was a real game changer and much of his philosophies and defensive tactics are still utilized effectively by teams today. Buddy’s influence will be carried on by defensive coaches for generations to come, but none more so than by Rex and Rob. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the Ryan family today.
Rex Ryan released a statement later via the Bills’ website.
For Rob and me, we’ve had the great fortune of sharing the coaching profession that he was so proud of and cherished so much. There is no way we can possibly begin to measure how much football we have learned from him over the years and we are forever thankful to him for instilling within us his unwavering love for the game of football.
While today is a tough day for all of us in the Ryan family, we are consoled in knowing how much dad was loved by so many and the love he gave back in return. Though we will miss him dearly, we take comfort in knowing that his memory will live on through all of us.
Buddy Ryan was the Bears defensive coordinator from 1975 to 1985. He created the famed 46 defense, which polarized offenses across the league with William Perry and Mike Singletary. He also served as the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1986 to 1990 and the Arizona Cardinals‘ head coach in 1994 and 1995.
He made three playoff appearances with the Eagles in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
There’s no doubt Ryan will have a long-lasting effect on the game. His legacy will forever live through his sons, who are defensive gurus in their own right.