The former NFL head coach, who announced he had cancer in 2011, is one of the best defensive coordinator’s to ever set foot on the turf. Ryan was known for being outspoken and perfecting what’s now known as the 46 defense.
“Some say the 46 is just an eight-man front,” Ryan once said, who named the play after safety Doug Plank, who wore that number. “That’s like saying Marilyn Monroe is just a girl.”
Coach Mike Ditka explained just how important Ryan was to the Chicago Bears winning 1985’s Super Bowl.
Born James David Ryan, he was a Korean War veteran who went to Oklahoma State University–Stillwater and eventually got his master’s degree while still coaching. He would go on to win Super Bowl III with the New York Jets and Superbowl XX with the Chicago Bears.
Ryan’s last coaching job was for the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. Sons Rob and Rex look to carry on the family NFL legacy.
SOURCE: NFL | IMAGE CREDIT: Getty, Twitter