Chicago Sun-Times

Rivera on coaching tree, Duerson

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There has been a lot of attention on the 1985 Bears of late. First came the 25th anniversary of the Bears last Super Bowl championship. Richard Dent was elected to the Hall of Fame. Then Dave Duerson committed suicide.

One thing that is often overlooked is the success many of those players have had in the coaching ranks. Leslie Frazier is now the head coach of the Vikings and Ron Rivera recently landed his first head coaching gig with the Carolina Panthers. Mike Singletary and Jeff Fisher have also been head coaches in the league.

Then there are the Ryan boys. Buddy Ryan's kids were also frequently around Halas Hall and training camp that year. Rex is now head coach of the New York Jets. Rob is the defensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys.

"Having been around guys like coach Ditka and Buddy Ryan, I think was special," Rivera said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. "If you think about the guys that did go through there, all these guys that everybody says are like a coach on the field, and that kind of spoke to who we [were] as football players and who we are now as coaches."

Like many of his other teammates, Rivera said Duerson's death hit him hard.

"Dave was probably the one guy that you sat there and thought, 'Wow, he's got it together,'" Rivera said. "And then unfortunately some things unraveled and whatever happened it was a very unfortunate situation. It does hit hard. I've talked to a lot of my former teammates and we've had a chance to visit, and really it's still kind of shocking. It's surprising, it really is, and it's very disappointing because he's a guy that everybody really thought was one of those guys that had it all going."

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on February 24, 2011 11:33 AM.

Buddy Ryan insists he didn't call Dave Duerson derogatory word was the previous entry in this blog.

Tackle prospect Carimi doesn't lack confidence is the next entry in this blog.

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