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1985 Bears Coverage: Ryan spurns offers for now

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Ryan spurns offers for now

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Jan. 16, 1986

Buddy Ryan won’t have any job interviews until after the Super Bowl, if then.

The Philadelphia Eagles might hire somebody else as head coach by then. Eagles owner Norman Braman wouldn’t even call Ryan a candidate for the job yesterday, two days after volunteering his interest in Ryan.

Braman asked Bears president Michael McCaskey for permission Monday night to interview Ryan, the Bears’ defensive coordinator. McCaskey said he gave it, but said he understood the Eagles would interview Ryan Tuesday. They did not.

“We’re done with this now,” McCaskey said yesterday. “The original stipulation was for one time and don’t let it be a distraction. It’s obvious now it can’t be done without being a real circus. “The Super Bowl’s our main concern now. Everything else is secondary.”

Ryan agreed. Before the Bears went to Champaign yesterday for three days of practice, he said, “It’s getting too late” to discuss a different job.

At a press conference in Philadelphia, Braman named only David Shula and Jim Mora as candidates for the Eagles’ job. He said there was “at least one more candidate, but less than a handful.”

Braman denied offering Mora a contract Tuesday night, when he and general manager Harry Gamble reportedly met several hours with Mora. Braman said he has discussed terms and conditions with “more than one candidate,” apparently Mora and Shula.

Mora cannot accept the job before tomorrow, when his contract with the USFL’s Baltimore Stars expires.

Ryan has not been acknowledged as a candidate for the NFL’s other head coach openings at Houston, New Orleans and St. Louis.

Speculation that Ryan would rejoin Jim Finks, New Orleans’ new general manager, ignores the fact that Finks considered Ryan too flamboyant when he was the Bears’ general manager. Ryan was hired as defensive coordinator in 1978 by former Bear coach Neill Armstrong, not Finks.