In Rex Ryan's first press conference, it quickly became evident he inherited a strong sense of self-confidence and an aggressive approach to defense from his father Buddy. As defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears, Buddy Ryan was carried off the field by his players, and he later turned Philadelphia into a contender as Eagles head coach.

Ron Rivera reinforced it this week. Rivera graduated from backup linebacker to starter on those Bears teams under Ryan, and it's easy for him to connect the dots from Buddy Ryan's defense to the one employed by his son, Jets coach Rex Ryan, who meets the Chargers Sunday in an AFC divisional playoff game.

Asked if he remembered Rex Ryan around the Bears, Rivera said, "Yes, yes. He was one of those young guys who used to come around. His dad was the coach, and I got to know Rex and visit with him on occasion when I'd see him at different functions and events."

Rivera said the two years in which he was exposed to Buddy Ryan's defensive philosophy made a strong impact on him that persists to this day. Comparing the elder Ryan to the Jets' coach, Rivera said, "I mean literally, he's a chip off the old block. That, to me, is a huge compliment because Buddy was a tremendous coach and somebody I really enjoyed playing for.

"Just having been around a guy like Buddy Ryan for a couple years and getting a chance to know his philosophy was really impressive, and it's left an imprint on me in terms of the way I approach things."

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The Jets rank No. 1 in total defense and pass defense using an aggressive scheme in which they blitz often and from every angle. Rivera suggested it takes courage to try some of the things Rex Ryan does.

"It's a philosophy thing first and foremost," Rivera said. "I think it's what you've got to believe in, and you also have to be willing to take those kinds of risks. It is a high-risk, high-reward defense. When Buddy used to do it, he used to believe in us, and that was one of the little big things. When you have guys that are eventually going to be Hall of Famers, it makes it a little bit easier, too."