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Ryan still talking the talk as ex-coach battles cancer

Buddy Ryan was everything Andy Reid isn’t.

Buddy Ryan was everything Andy Reid isn’t.

Brash. Bold. Spiteful.

Maybe that’s why fans still speak so glowingly of the old Eagles coach, even though his record pales in comparison to Reid’s.

(Ryan was winless in three playoff appearances in five seasons. Reid is 10-9 with a Super Bowl berth.)

Ask the 77-year-old Ryan and he’ll tell you he was one draft class away from winning the Super Bowl.

“We needed one more draft to get there,” Ryan said. “I wish I’d got the opportunity. I know I could have got it done.”

Then, while praising Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, Ryan took a dig at the owner that eventually fired him, Norman Braman.

“If we’d have the owner they have there now, we'd probably have won five or six Super Bowls.”

Ryan, who was honored at halftime of last night’s Eagles-Bears game, was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and is undergoing radiation treatment five days a week.

“I’m feeling great. Everything’s fine,” Ryan said.

Ryan’s two sons, Rob and Rex, took up the family business and bravado. Both coaches — Rob as defensive coordinator of the Cowboys and Rex as head coach of the Jets — are also known for their abrasive personalities, as much as for their football acumen.

“You’ve got to be yourself, or people see through the phony,” the eldest Ryan said. “I just tried to be myself and it worked out that way.”

 
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