Buddy Ryan, Mike Ditka Appear To Have Put Feud Behind Them


If Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan still don’t like each other, they fake it pretty well. The head coach and defensive coordinator, respectively, of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion team have documented their positions on one another over the years, describing arguments and disagreements that at least developed into thoughts of physical fights. Whether those actually occurred or not is still a bit up in the air. Now, Ryan, who appeared to be the instigator of the rivalry when he left Chicago and became the head coach in Philadelphia, says the rivalry never even existed. Ditka seems to simply be playing the card that he’s become wiser with age and it’s water under the bridge.It’s a little too bad. The two seemed much more entertaining when duking it out instead of sharing hugs. Buddy Ryan and Mike Ditka joined WSCR in Chicago with Mully and Hanley to discuss the new penalties for illegal hits, how they currently feel about each other, Ryan’s successful sons, whether they knew their 1985 team would have such a lasting legacy and their past feud (or lack thereof).


Buddy Ryan on the increased penalties for illegal hits:

“I think it’s one way. It seems like it really straightened things out. It took some of the hits out that weren’t good. That’s football. I think they’re doing a good job of enforcing it, I think, right now.”
Buddy Ryan on whether it’s different to coach defense now than when he did:
“I don’t think it changes. You might have to back off of a hit across the middle or something, but other than that it’s all the same.”

Buddy Ryan on his relationship with Mike Ditka:

“Oh I’ll give him a hug. He’s done a great job. He’s doing a good job with that pregame show he does. … I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Buddy Ryan on talking with his sons:

“I talk to Rex and Rob, both, during the week and what they do, they say, ‘Dad, we’re going to do this or that.’ We talk our terminology because we’ve been together for so long. They’ll have theirs for New York and Cleveland and we’ll have our terminology that communicates between each other. It’s fun to watch [Mike] Singletary and those guys and Les Frazier’s doing a great job. We’ve got a lot of guys pushing the 46 concept in the NFL today.”

Mike Ditka on whether he believed his teams in Chicago would have such a lasting legacy:

“At the moment, you never know. What you do, in retrospect, you look back and you say, ‘Is there any team that really played the way those guys played? Is there any defense that lined up and went after people the way they did?’ I watch people play today and there’s a lot of good football teams out there, but I don’t see anybody that has the personality of that football team. That defense, I mean, I can’t explain it. I say we had a lot of characters that had character and I really believe that.”

Buddy Ryan on differences of opinion with Ditka:

“Well, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. … We did [the 46 defense] because when we got there in ’78 we didn’t have but one player and that was Dan Hampton. The rest of them we had to fill in with. I came there with Neil Armstrong from Minnesota and we had one player, that was Dan Hampton, so we had to make some changes.”

Mike Ditka on creative differences with Ryan:

“I think the main thing is, if everybody agrees upon everything, it’s probably not very good. I think there’s gonna be disagreement in all things. Disagreement can be good, as long as the final decision that’s made is in the best interest of the organization, the team, whatever you want to call it. If it’s not then you’re going to have problems because everyone will become fractured.”

Can Anquan Boldin Help Take The Baltimore Ravens To The Next Level?

Previous article

Bret Bielema on Wisconsin’s Style of Play: “We Call It American Football”

Next article

You may also like


Comments are closed.

More in NFL