Hiring Buddy Ryan in 1994
Buddy Ryan is another former NFC East icon who the Arizona Cardinals brought to the desert in 1994. During his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles between 1986 and 1990, Ryan finished with a record of 43-35-1, making three trips to the playoffs. And while he never won a playoff game, Ryan remained a fixture in NFL coaching circles.
He gained infamy, however, during the 1993 Houston Oilers season when head coach Jack Pardee hired him to become the defensive coordinator. It was here that he forged himself in a heated rivalry with offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, repeatedly criticizing Gilbride’s run ‘n shoot offense.
Things came to a head on January 2nd, 1994, when an enraged Ryan actually punched Gilbride. Following a heartbreaking playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Ryan was let go, and the Cardinals scooped him up, crediting much of the Oilers’ success to him.
But why hire a guy who couldn’t control himself on the sideline? The NFL has seen its fair share of temperamental coaches, but few have had physical altercations. Ryan’s infamous “You’ve got a winner in town” proclamation added fuel to his loose cannon persona. Unfortunately for Ryan, he never lived up to the hype and was gone after just two seasons, posting a 12-20 record.