Buddy Ryan remembered by former players

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Buddy Ryan, the man who invented the "46" Defense and helped lead the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl season in 1985, was laid to rest Friday in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. His funeral was at St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church.

The 85-year-old Ryan died Tuesday. Former players and coaches gathered in Lawrenceburg to celebrate his life, including Ryan's sons, Rex and Rob Ryan, as well as former Bears coach Mike Ditka.

The men who played for Ryan said he was much more than their coach. Linebacker Richard Dent said he had the same mannerisms as his college coach Joe Gilliam.

"Buddy was a guy if you asked him a question, it was like a question that you'd ask your grandfather, you might not be ready for the answer," said Dent. "Yet you know that it's real and it's straight from the heart. Being an athlete, being a ballplayer, being a human being, that's all you can ask for from a person."

Safety Doug Plank, the man the "46" Defense was named after, said Ryan was one of a kind.

"If there was ever a father figure in my life, it was him. I said something earlier today, that there was never a time on or off the field while you were a Chicago Bear, playing for Buddy Ryan, that you didn't know that he was thinking about you or thinking about something he could work out for you on the field."

After retiring from the NFL, Ryan bought a farm in Anderson County where he raised horses. He is survived by sons Rex and Rob Ryan. Rex is the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, and Rob is a Bills' assistant coach.

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