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 85.
“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.
A game-winning drive against the 5-0 Chiefs on Sunday night. A game-winning, coach's-job-saving drive against the 49ers on Monday night.
The more things change, the more things stay the same. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers continue to crush souls. Blake Bortles continues to inspire memes. New York's love-hate relationship with Eli Manning trudges on.
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All of the good graces Bill Belichick may have won on Tuesday afternoon -- when he compared the Bears' offense to Kansas City's -- are officially gone.
Today, when talking to reporters, a Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparison came up. Belichick, who coached LT as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator in the 1980s, was NOT having it:
"Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now. I’m not putting anybody in (LT’s) class. Put everybody down below that. With a lot of respect to a lot of good players, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor."
A bit harsh, Bill.
For what it's worth, here's Khalil Mack's 2018 projection, assuming his latest ankle injury doesn't make him miss time:
20 sacks, four interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries
That's .5 sacks less and four INTS, 16 FFs and 4 recoveries more than LT had in his 1986 MVP season. And yeah, maybe "they didn't record tackles/fumbles in 1986" and "16 forced fumbles would not only blow the current record (10) out of the water but is just plain unrealistic" but whatever, we're just sayin'.
UPDATE: shocker, LT agrees: