It was an honor today for Eric Allen and me to do a short "Jets Two-Minute Drive" radio interview with Buddy Ryan, father of the new head coach of the Green & White.
Buddy's mellowed just a little from his days as the fiery defensive genius of the Chicago Bears of the Eighties and the Philadelphia Eagles of the Nineties — not surprising, since next month he'll turn 75 years old.
But he's still bullish on the chances of Rex taking the Jets to places they haven't been recently, he said he'll be around the Atlantic Health Training Center "when it gets a little warmer, around minicamp."
And he talked about the quarterhorses he's raised for a long time. One of his 2-year-olds is named Blitz To Win. Also not surprising.
We chatted with Buddy about the start of his pro coaching career, from 1968-75 as the Jets' DL coach, but I didn't ask him about the only game he was a head coach against the Jets.
That was late in the 1987 strike season, when the Jets started 6-5, which was good enough to contend in the tightly packed AFC East race and the conference wild card standings. But the Jets swooned down the stretch with road losses to Miami and New England, then a 38-27 loss to Ryan's 5-9 Eagles at the Meadowlands and a season-ending "road" loss to the Giants to finish 6-9.
The Jets had taken a 17-10 lead over the Birds, only to be done in by Randall Cunningham's two second-quarter TD strikes to Mike Quick and a third to now broadcaster, then rookie WR Cris Carter. Also in the mix was a short TD run by future Jets jack-of-all-trades Keith Byars.
Our conversation with Buddy Ryan, father of the 46 Defense, not to mention Rex and Rob, is available on newyorkjets.com now.