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]

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

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USA Today Images

National champion Villanova to be honored at White House next week

It's been nearly two months since Villanova won the National Championship in one of the most memorable games in NCAA Tournament history.

Since then, the Wildcats have been honored by the city (parade), the New York Stock Exchange (opening bell), the Phillies (first pitch), the Flyers and the Union. Earlier this week, head coach Jay Wright addressed the Eagles.

But that will all pale in comparison to where the Wildcats will be next Tuesday, when they become the latest championship team to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 4:10 p.m. and will be streamed on www.whitehouse.gov/live.

In his pool, President Obama had Villanova finally advancing past the second round — "I know that eventually they're going to break through. They've had some bad luck over the last couple of years," Obama told ESPN.com — but had the Wildcats falling to Kansas in the regional semifinal.

He then had Kansas beating North Carolina to win the title.

After surviving the first weekend for the first time since their Final Four run in 2009, Villanova ousted Kansas, 64-59, before shocking Buddy Hield and Oklahoma in the national semifinal, winning by 44. The Wildcats then won one of the most memorable championship games in NCAA Tournament history when Kris Jenkins hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Tar Heels, 77-74.

Union transfer contract of Michael Lahoud to Miami FC

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Union transfer contract of Michael Lahoud to Miami FC

The Union have cashed in on Michael Lahoud.

After terminating his loan to the New York Cosmos on Tuesday, the Union recalled Lahoud and officially sold the 29-year-old midfielder to Miami FC of the NASL for an undisclosed amount.

“Mike always served the club in a professional manner during his time here,” said Union sporting director Earnie Stewart, who loaned Lahoud to the Cosmos this offseason. “We thank him for his service and want to wish him the best of luck in Miami and in his future endeavors.”

Lahoud, whose prorated $115,637.50 guaranteed salary comes off the Union’s salary cap, was acquired in 2012 in a trade with Chivas USA for defender Danny Califf. He made 58 appearances with the Union before being loaned out.

Eagles' left guard job is Allen Barbre's, but backups are pushing

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Eagles' left guard job is Allen Barbre's, but backups are pushing

Allen Barbre is the Eagles’ starting left guard.

For now.

The 31-year-old offensive lineman started all 16 games at left guard in 2015, and as of Tuesday at OTAs, he was still a starter for Doug Pederson’s new-look offense.

But that could change.

There are several players pushing for the left guard spot. Among them are Stefen Wisniewski, Malcolm Bunche, Isaac Seumalo and Andrew Gardner.

“I definitely am trying to start somewhere,” said Wisniewski, a free-agent signing. “I think I would be a good starting left guard.”

Wisniewski, 27, signed a one-year prove-it deal in early April to join the Eagles (see story). After being taken in the second round of the 2011 draft, Wisniewski has started 77 of 80 possible games in the NFL. He clearly views himself as a starter in the NFL.

For the last two weeks, he’s been working with the second team at guard and center.

“Yeah, it’s weird. It’s definitely weird,” Wisniewski said. “I haven’t spent much time with the twos in five years. Probably a week or two. So it’s definitely different, but I’m just looking at it as a temporary thing, though.”

This offseason, the Eagles added veteran Brandon Brooks to play right guard, taking over for Matt Tobin, but Barbre is still slotted on the left side. In fact, to hammer the point home, the starting offensive linemen have their lockers in a row in the deep corner of the locker room, from left to right: Jason Peters, Barbre, Jason Kelce, Brooks, Lane Johnson.

So, as of late May, Barbre is still the starter.

“I really like where we're at. I like the depth at that position right now,” Pederson said last week. “But yeah, Allen Barbre is my guy and he's our starter.”

Wisniewski is the most accomplished of the backups pushing for that starting left guard spot, but he’s not alone.

Bunche, who was on the Eagles’ practice squad in 2015 after going undrafted out of UCLA, has been working with the second team at left guard during practice. And the second-year player thinks he has a shot at the starting job too.

“Oh yes. But not just that one,” Bunche said. “Throughout the season, anything can happen. That’s one thing that [offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland], he talks about it a lot, you never know when you’re number is going to be called. You just gotta stay in tune with what’s being called, the play-calling, the different techniques going into certain games. I feel I have an opportunity to take that spot if I wanted to. My mindset it to come in and get better each and every day.”

Another possible starting left guard isn’t with the team right now. Third-round pick Seumalo, from Oregon State, is back at school because of the NFL graduation rule and Oregon State’s quarters system. He would be a logical choice to compete for that starting job, but he’s missing valuable time at OTAs.

Meanwhile, Barbre, who had started just eight total games in his seven-year career before 2015, is trying to stave off his competitors. The veteran knows the team brought in a bunch of new offensive linemen this offseason (they have 17 on the roster). He just doesn’t care.

“Honestly, I wasn’t really worried about that,” Barbre said Tuesday. “Honestly, I thought I played fairly decent (in 2015), if you studied the film and you understood what went on. There was a lot of stuff that was tough on the O-line, so it made it kind of tough on us.”

The criticism of the offensive line last season was loud, especially criticism of the guard positions, but Barbre did his best to avoid it.  

“I don’t even read it,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t even care. You guys got your jobs and I have my job. We all have different things we have to do.”

Right now, Barbre’s job is to hold onto that starting spot, while Wisniewski and the rest try to steal it away.