Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At a Glance

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

At a Glance

Article excerpt

NO BUDDY OF RYAN'S

After biting his tongue for years, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka didn't mince words when asked about Buddy Ryan. Ryan, the cantankerous Arizona Cardinals coach, has been blamed for contributing to the Houston Oilers' swift demise by publicly disparaging the offense while he directed the Houston defense last year.

Oilers offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, fired last week along with head coach Jack Pardee when the club dropped to 1-9, said Ryan's caustic criticism caused an internal rift that never healed. In a telephone interview with the Houston Chronicle, Ditka offered his own brand of blunt personal insight.

"Buddy is an ass," Ditka, whose coaching staff in Chicago included Ryan, told the newspaper. "I'm surprised Kevin Gilbride waited this long to fire back at Buddy. Kevin is right. The Oilers may have brought Buddy there with good intentions, but he destroyed the team. That's what happened.rt"

When ba Gilbride was released, Ryan let loose in typical fashion: "I said he would be selling insurance in two years; he's just a year ahead of schedule."

Ditka, now a TV commentator, said he has been easy on Ryan: "I've held back for nine years on saying things about Buddy, even though he was ripping me. But (new coach) Jeff Fisher has more class in his little finger than Buddy has in his whole fat body."

INJURY UPDATE

The list is filled with big-name players this week. Cowboys QB Troy Aikman suffered a sprained knee and is expected to miss Dallas' game Thursday against the Packers. Dallas backup QB Rodney Peete suffered a sprained thumb, and it is unkown how long he will be out. . . . Packers DE Reggie White suffered a sprained elbow. He said he was not sure if he would be ready for Thursday's game. . . . Bills RB Thurman Thomas suffered a bruised left knee and may miss the Bills' Thanksgiving Day game against Detroit. . . . Cardinals OT Luis Sharpe suffered a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return to the game. …

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