Publish date:

Guest Columnist: BUDDY RYAN


"I've spent a lot of time watching people," says Ryan. "I sit in the back of airplanes oh road trips, just watching people. The players will tell you that. I study people. I knew Randall was my kind of guy.

"First of all, he's the best athlete to ever play the position. Sammy Baugh might be right there with him. I hope Randall can win like Sammy. But Randall could probably lead the league in punting. He's the best runner in the league, and if you can't see he can throw the football, I won't waste my time with you. I heard some of that black crap: 'Move him to wide receiver, move him to defensive back.' I don't hear those voices too much anymore. I go with what I know. I've been around professional football for 27 years. So I don't screw up too much.

"I know you've got to have that guy, that one guy, at Randall's position. The old guard laughed at me a few years back, when I only put him in on third-and-long. When he calls his own plays this season, they're really going to come after me. Oh, I'm asking for it. So what? Randall needs this. He needs to go one step beyond. The guys who have given me, as a defensive coach, the most trouble through the years are guys like Namath, Bradshaw, Tarkenton—guys who called their own plays. Randall's going to that stage. He needs the challenge. And don't try and tell me what one man can't do. Anybody see what Namath did in 1968? Don't tell me what Randall can't do. I know better.

"I call him the Boss so the other guys can hear it. It's his offense. I want him to realize that. See, a lot of guys have the will to win on Sunday, when the cheerleaders are out there. But Randall is willing to prepare to win. That's the difference. He hasn't missed a single workout of any kind for three years. So there's nobody around here who's going to have any problem with Randall being the Boss. I say so. Hell, it's my team."