IRVING, Texas – Rob Ryan took a break from raving about Buffalo running back Fred Jackson to rip a Texas high school coaching legend.
Actually, Ryan doesn’t even know the name of the coach whom he ripped. He just knows that Jackson was a backup at Arlington Lamar.
“They ought to fire that coach, by the way,” Ryan said.
Informed that the coach in question is retired, Ryan replied: “He’s retired? That’s good. Because this guy’s special.”
We never got around to telling Ryan that Eddy Peach, the longtime Arlington Lamar coach, retired with 309 wins, the most in Class 5A history. Frankly, Ryan wouldn’t have cared. He’s too busy getting ready for a running back that he respects immensely.
Jackson made his way to the NFL via Division III Coe College and an indoor league. He’s become one of the league’s most productive backs, ranking third in rushing yards (803) and second in total yards (1,194) this season.
The kid who wasn’t big enough to start for a loaded Lamar team has grown into a 6-foot-1, 215-pound bruiser.
“He’s really tough. God, this guy is tough, now,” Ryan said. “He takes on all comers. We purposely never showed some of the chip blocks he does on defensive ends because he leaves them on the carpet. He just blasts them, literally leaves them out there and getting carted off. So we have to watch out for that besides his great talent of running the football. …
“He runs the ball like Walter Payton used to where he just looks people up and runs them over. But he’s also got the fleet feet where he can make people miss. He’s a special guy and he’s a special kid, too. I really like this guy, respect him and hopefully we can knock the crap out of him.”