Rex Ryan is a football lifer from a football family.
His father, Buddy, was an NFL coach for 35 years. His twin brother, Rob, is currently a senior defensive assistant for the Las Vegas Raiders. Rex, himself, had head coaching stints with the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
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Head coach Rex Ryan of the Buffalo Bills watches warm-ups before the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins on December 24, 2016, at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York.
(Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
The whole Ryan family has grown almost notorious for their emotions on the field, but the Bills head coach from 2015 and 2016 couldn’t help but give a good cry of happiness when speaking about Damar Hamlin.
Ryan, now an ESPN analyst, was on Saturday’s edition of “NFL Countdown” when the broadcast crew were reflecting on the good news of Hamlin’s improving health.
A sign shows support for Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin outside Highmark Stadium on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
BILLS’ DAMAR HAMLIN REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION, CONTINUES TO MAKE PROGRESS AFTER CARDIAC ARREST
He kept his composure for most of the conversation, but at one point, he clearly started to reflect even more deeply. After trying to pass off to partner Tedy Bruschi alongside him, Ryan couldn’t help himself anymore.
“When he came out, ‘Did we win,’ we needed that,” Ryan said, noting that Hamlin had asked doctors who won the game, upon waking up in the hospital. “As fans, we needed it. This guy is a legend. A legend. You talk about a fighter? He’s a dang legend. Thank you. I needed it as a dad, as a coach and as a fan of this game.”
Hamlin remains in critical condition, but is now breathing on his own and communicating with others.
“His neurological function is excellent,” the Bills said.
Hamlin spoke with his Bills teammates Friday morning after having his breathing tube removed overnight.
“Love you boys,” Hamlin said to his teammates.
Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.