Throughout the past 40 years of professional football in the U.S., the Ryan family has put a large stamp on the game, as well as the National Football League. Hailing from Oklahoma, Buddy Ryan and his two sons Rex and Robert have proven just how valuable a coaching education can be, and how a unique and steadfast passion for the sport can bring professionals in the field to amazing heights.
MSNBC recently reported on the Dallas Cowboys organization’s discussions regarding the promotion of Rob Ryan from defensive coordinator to head coach. Rob Ryan, fraternal twin of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, has stayed true to his family’s name with an exceptional ability to foster powerful and consistent defensive strategies.
The source believes that Rob might not be ready for the full-time head coaching job, but many fans and analysts agree that it could improve the Cowboys chances of becoming a force close to what they had been in the 1990s.
Buddy Ryan paved the way for his two boys, acting as a defensive line coach for the New York Jets in the late 1960s and early ’70s, with whom he received his first of several Super Bowl rings after a win against the Baltimore Colts in ’69.
Much of the family’s success has been a product of what many refer to as the Ryan 46 defense. CNN published an excerpt from a book written by Sports Illustrated writer Tim Layden explaining the lasting impact of Buddy, Rex and Rob’s marquee defensive strategy.
According to the source, the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots was one of the first that experts believed to be an undeniable product of defense, which Buddy Ryan was in control of. The 46 defense was named after tenacious Bears free safety, Doug Plank, who wore number 46.
The innovative strategy, in Buddy Ryan’s words, works to throw off offensive blocking patterns and schemes by overloading the middle of the field and putting a nose tackle on the center. In Layden’s piece, Buddy Ryan explained how as the years went on past the inception of the strategy, the ability of the opposing offense to accomplish their strategy dwindled rapidly, which eventually resulted in a Super Bowl win for the Chicago team.
While coaching degrees are a great way to enter the field, an unfaltering love of the game coupled with creative innovation of strategy can bring prospective coaching professionals to the upper echelons of sporting history.
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