Inside The Bills

Dennis Thurman’s first meeting with Rex

Posted by Chris Brown on January 27, 2015 – 4:28 pm

They did not know one another at all when Dennis Thurman was hired by Brian Billick to help him coach the Baltimore Ravens as a defensive assistant in 2002. But Thurman made a point to introduce himself to Ravens defensive line coach Rex Ryan.

“I had never met Rex, but I had played against his dad’s (Buddy Ryan) teams in Chicago,” said Thurman, who played almost his entire career with Dallas. “So when I met Rex I went into his office and I said, ‘I remember your dad’s team and they came into Texas Stadium and they beat us up like 44-0.’ We won the NFC East that year and went 10-6 and we thought we had a pretty good team. Then that Bears team came in and beat us 44-0 and I think that was the only time we got shut out when I played there at Texas Stadium. So I was telling him, ‘Wow your dad had a great defense.’ Rex said to me, ‘You haven’t seen anything yet.’”

Thurman was asked if the ’85 Bears defense was the best he had ever seen. Buffalo’s new defensive coordinator wouldn’t definitively say it, but he did say that in that 44-0 game that had the Cowboys QB been injured, he might’ve been called upon to step in and play quarterback.

“All I’m going to tell you is this: I don’t know where they rank that ’85 Bears team but during that game, if the quarterback had gotten hurt, I would’ve had to go in and play quarterback and I’m just glad I didn’t have to go into that game so I’ll just put it to you that way.”

Thurman was a defensive back and quarterback in high school in California.


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