Bears chairman George McCaskey released a statement Tuesday morning after the passing of legendary Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who died at the age of 82.
“Buddy Ryan was the architect of the greatest defense our league has seen," McCaskey said. "He was brilliant when it came to the X’s and O’s of the game, but what made him special was his ability to create an unwavering confidence in the players he coached.
"From the day he was hired in 1978, his defenses bought into more than the scheme, they bought into him and took on his personality. Buddy was brash, intelligent and tough. He was a perfect match for our city and team, which is why George Halas took the extraordinary step of keeping him at the behest of his defensive players while transitioning to a new coaching staff in 1982.
"We will always be grateful for Buddy’s contribution to the Bears. He is one of the team’s all-time greats. Our prayers are with his family.”
McCaskey has been chairman since 2011, but his older brother, Michael, was chairman of the Bears during the last few years of Ryan's run as defensive coordinator, including the Super Bowl XX championship.
Buddy Ryan, the famed inventor of the "46" defense and the architect of arguably the greatest defense in NFL history, died Tuesday morning. He was 82.
Ryan spent 26 seasons as an NFL coach, but his crowning achievement was as the defensive coordinator of the 1985 Chicago Bears. The always outspoken, tough loving Ryan was beloved by his players, who carried him off the field after the Bears' victory in Super Bowl XX.
Former Bears defensive tackle and a member of Ryan's 1985 defense, Steve McMichael, remembers the legendary coach for his no-nonsense personality.
See what McMichael had to say about his former coach in the video above.
As tribute to Buddy Ryan, CSN will re-air "The 46: The 1985 Chicago Bears Defense" Bears Classic Tuesday night at 11 p.m.
Ryan passed away at the age of 82, his agent confirmed Tuesday.
Ryan was the architect of the "46" defense that led the Bears to their only Super Bowl championship.
CSN's Bears Classic — which originally aired in November 2015 — goes inside arguably the greatest defense in NFL history.