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Defensive Legend Buddy Ryan Dies at 82

The creator of the famed '46' defense coached in the NFL for 35 years, developing a reputation for innovation and passion that is seldom matched in any profession.

Mike Powell/Getty Images

After the Bears won the Super Bowl, two different men were carried off the field by their teams. Ditka was carried off-field by the offense, and Defensive Coordinator Buddy Ryan was carried off by the defense. Ryan served as the head coach of the Eagles and the Cardinals, and he also spent time with the Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings.

On Tuesday, Ryan passed away at the age of 82.

It was his creation of the famed 46 defense that propelled him to his greatest success. Ryan had a knack for instilling in his players the same passion and vigor that he had for the game, and their loyalty to him was legendary. He emphasized creating havoc and forcing the other team off balance, and he helped to define how one generation, at least, thought of the Beloved.

In addition to Ryan's three children and six grandchildren, Buddy will be missed by football fans everywhere. He was one of the great minds of the game.