Is Buddy Ryan One of the Worst Head Coaches in Modern NFL History?

Is Buddy Ryan One of the Worst Head Coaches in Modern NFL History?

We tend to look back on the Buddy Ryan era with a certain fondness despite the fact that he didn’t lead the Eagles to so much as a single playoff win in five seasons as head coach.

Let’s not mince words: the man is a Philadelphia legend. Buddy assembled one of the greatest defenses of all time, installed one of the most electric athletes the sport has ever known as his starting quarterback, and he did these things with a brash demeanor that played well with savage Birds fans. But was he actually a good coach?

Drew Magary and Dom Cosentino for Deadspin think not. Ryan was an innovator and a great defensive coach, but his two head coaching stints in the NFL ultimately produced nothing – at least they were unsuccessful enough to crack Magary and Consentino’s list of the 16 worst coaches in modern history.

16. Buddy Ryan (career record: 55-55-1)

Is any crappy coach in league history more beloved by a fan base than Buddy Ryan still is in Philly? He gave reporters entertaining quotes, often at the expense of his own players. He once put a bounty on the Cowboys' kicker. He punched Kevin Gilbride, and even if it happened when he was in Houston, the act only endeared Ryan that much more to the likes of Paulie from East Passyunk. (According to the late Dave Duerson, Buddy was also something of a racist.) "Buddy Ryan," A.J. Daulerio once wrote, "was a walking, talking version of the mythology Philadelphia fans idolize about themselves." People in Philly like Buddy Ryan because Buddy Ryan wasn't Andy Reid, never mind that Buddy Ryan, with his immensely talented roster, never won a single playoff game (something even Rich Kotite did in Philly). The Cardinals later dragged Ryan off his horse farm to try to rescue the franchise. "You've got a winner in town," Ryan declared during his introductory press conference in the desert. He went on to win 12 games in two seasons before getting shitcanned again.

Looking at the list of 30-plus honorable mentions, which includes names such as Rod Marinelli (0-16 season), Cam Cameron (1-15 career), Joe Bugel (.300 winning percentage), and Josh McDaniels (drafted Tim Tebow in the first round), it’s hard to believe two people felt not one of them was worse than Buddy. Sure, he didn’t produce a playoff victory, but he got there three times in five years, and undoubtedly would have been to more were he not fired following the 1990 season. I can’t speak to what went on in Arizona, but that franchise is almost never viable.

Buddy Ryan may not be as good as Philly likes to think he was, but it would seem there are plenty more than 15 men who did worse.

In case you were wondering where Rich Kotite falls on this list – because there was absolutely zero doubt he would be on it – Ryan’s successor with the Eagles comes in at No. 5. NO, Andy Reid is not on the list, smartasses.

5. Rich Kotite (career record: 41-57)

The amazing thing about Rich Kotite is that, once he was fired by the Jets, he never returned to coaching. He just fell off the face of the Earth. That's virtually unheard of in the profession. Even Rod Marinelli, who went 0-16, was rewarded with a cushy coordinator gig after his ouster. There's always an NFL team or a college team willing to give you a second chance. And yet, Kotite never coached again, not even in a goof league like the XFL. It's like he died. Either Kotite decided that the job wasn't for him and left football of his own free will—which would be rather noble—or he was SO awful during his time in New York that he was essentially exiled from the sport at every conceivable level. We'd like to think this is possible. We'd like to think that NFL executives and college presidents got together after Kotite's firing and said, "OK, let's all agree to NEVER hire this man again, not even as the equipment manager."

>> The 16 Worst Coaches In Modern NFL History [Deadspin]

Best of NFL: Redskins notch first win on Hopkins' field goal vs.Giants

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Best of NFL: Redskins notch first win on Hopkins' field goal vs.Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.  -- Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter for his fifth of the game and the Washington Redskins avoid a near-disastrous 0-3 start with a 29-27 win over the penalty- and error-prone New York Giants on Sunday.

Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes of 44 yards to DeSean Jackson and 55 to Jamison Crowder as the banged-up Redskins (1-2) handed new coach Ben McAdoo his first loss with the Giants (2-1).

Su'a Cravens ended the Giants' final drive with an interception in New York territory. It was Eli Manning's second pick of the quarter, with the other coming in the end zone by Quinton Dunbar after New York got to the Redskins 15 on a big play by Odell Beckham Jr.

This was a wild NFC East matchup that see-sawed the entire second half after Washington rallied from a 21-9 deficit.

The fourth quarter was wild with the matchup of Beckham and Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, leading to big plays by Beckham, an ejection of Giants center Weston Richburg and a personal foul against Norman for a big hit on Sterling Shepard.

In the end, Washington made the big plays in avoiding the 0-3 start. Only three teams since 1990 have made the playoffs after losing three in row to start the season.

The Giants had 11 penalties 128 yards, including a third-down hit to the helmet by Olivier Vernon that kept the Redskins' game-winning drive alive.

Shane Vereen scored on a 1-yard run, Manning threw a 23-yard TD to Shepard and Orleans Darkwa scored on a 2-yard run for New York. Josh Brown kicked two short field goals, the last a 30-yarder that gave New York a 27-26 lead with 7:53 to play (see full recap).

Vikings stop Newton, snap Panthers' home win streak
CHARLOTTE, N.C.  -- The Minnesota Vikings keep finding ways to overcome injuries --and keep finding ways to win football games.

Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph, Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a score and the Vikings snapped the Carolina Panthers' 14-game home winning streak 22-10 on Sunday.

The Vikings put the clamps on Cam Newton, intercepting the league's reigning MVP three times and getting eight sacks, one of those resulting in a safety by Danielle Hunter. The eight sacks were the second-most ever against Newton.

"We have a great team -- the best team I have been a part of," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who had three sacks. "We come from every area on the field and we get sacks."

Said Newton: "They were dictating to us after they got the momentum."

The Vikings improved 3-0 despite losing running back Adrian Peterson and offensive tackle Matt Kalil to injuries last week. They lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the preseason.

The Panthers were averaging 42 points per game in their last three home games, but could do little after bolting to a 10-0 lead. The Vikings held Carolina wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess without a catch.

"For him not to have any touches is baffling," Newton said of Benjamin. "We have to find ways" to get him the ball.

Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said the Vikings focus was on shutting down Benjamin.

"We just knew where Benjamin was the whole time," Munnerlyn said. "Funchess, we weren't worried about him. It was Kelvin Benjamin. Me personally, I think No. 17 (Funchess) is not that good, so we weren't really worried about him." (see full recap)

Bills bounce back with win over Cardinals
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.  -- LeSean McCoy scored twice and safety Aaron Williams returned a botched field-goal snap 53 yards for a touchdown in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 33-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 20-yard run at a time the Rex Ryan-coached Bills spent the past week taking the brunt of criticism after opening the season 0-2.

The win also came on the heels of Ryan firing offensive coordinator Greg Roman and replacing him with running backs coach Anthony Lynn.

McCoy scored on 24- and 5-yard runs, and finished with 110 yards rushing after combining for just 117 in his first two games. Taylor had 76 yards rushing, including a 49-yarder, the longest by a quarterback in team history.

Ryan's defense also bounced back after allowing 493 yards in 37-31 loss to the New York Jets on Sept. 15. The Bills limited Arizona to 348 yards and intercepted Carson Palmer on each of Arizona's final four possessions.

Stephon Gilmore had two interceptions.

Arizona (1-2) unraveled a week after a 40-7 win over Tampa Bay, and had a five-game road winning streak snapped going back to last season (see full recap).

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Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

Phillies' clubhouse reflects on life of Marlins' Jose Fernandez

NEW YORK — The clubhouse mood following the Phillies17-0 loss to the Mets Sunday was somber, in part because of the disastrous game that had just wrapped up, but also because of the tragic news of Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez’s death in a boating accident early Sunday morning.

“It was rough. People are devastated. I didn’t even know him and I was crushed,” Phillies starter Jake Thompson said. “I can only imagine how that clubhouse feels. That’s something that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy, to deal with something of that magnitude.”

Both teams paused for a moment of silence before Sunday’s game and the Mets taped a jersey bearing Fernandez’s name and number onto their dugout wall.

“This morning, that was quite a surprise,” manager Pete Mackanin said of the atmosphere of the day. “I don’t think it affected the players once the game started. It was such bad news this morning that everybody was kind of melancholy.”

Fernandez had built a strong track record against the Phillies in his young career, amassing a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

“It’s kind of cliché to say but you look at the start of his career and he could have been a Hall of Famer,” Thompson said.

Asked how he would remember facing Fernandez, Mackanin was succinct.

“He was a helluva pitcher,” he said.

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