When it comes to the National Football League, certain families tend to create a legacy. The Los Angeles Rams enter their Week 5 matchup at home against the Buffalo Bills, with a connection between the opposing coaches. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher blossomed under Buddy Ryan, the late father of Bills head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Fisher began his coaching career under Buddy, after suffering a season-ending surgery. While with the Chicago Bears in 1985, Fisher got placed on the injured reserve. However, that unfortunate injury allowed him to assist Buddy, who was the defensive coordinator.
The Bears would go on to win the Super Bowl that season, which opened up new opportunities. Buddy then received a head coaching opportunity with the Philadelphia Eagles, bringing Fisher along as a defensive backs coach.
In 1988, Fisher was promoted and became the youngest defensive coordinator in the NFL at the age of 30. The following season, the Eagles led the NFL in interceptions and sacks. In 1990, the Eagles led the league in rushing defense and placed second in sacks.
The pair then split, as Fisher was hired as the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams in 1991. However, Buddy’s influence certainly played a tremendous role in Fisher’s current coaching career.
Entering the Week 5 matchup, Fisher now finds himself paired against the children of his mentor, as the Bills come in on a hot note.
In a convincing 16-0 victory, the Bills shutout the New England Patriots on the road. Rex has always retained his out-of-the-box mentality, capped off by his prank call to Julian Edelman.
During the Rams press conference on Monday, Fisher stated he has known Rob and Rex since they were children. He then provided clarity and gave a heartfelt note about their late father:
“They would hang around training camp in Chicago, when I was playing. I followed their careers throughout and Buddy was very very close with them. It was a hard loss this summer when we lost Buddy. I talked to both of them.”
Buddy passed away in June of 2016, on his ranch in Shelbyville, Kentucky. While his loss was a tough hit for the NFL, his peers will continue to remember his legacy and tenaciousness.
Fisher then described the brothers and their coaching approach, with a courteous connection to their father:
“Both outstanding coaches. They’re passionate. They’re coaching for their dad right now, I know that.”
The Week 5 matchup is slated for a 1:25 P.M. Pacific Time start. After two games on the road, the Rams return to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Their first home game of the season came in Week 2, during a 9-3 victory against the Seattle Seahawks.