Beavers Leaves It To Buddy's Son Jim Ryan Represents Birds' 12th-round Pick

Posted: April 26, 1991

Shortly after the free fall of his client, safety Darrel Beavers, was halted by the arms of the Philadelphia Eagles in the draft's 12th round Monday, agent Jim Ryan Jr. started doing his homework.

He picked up the phone and called dad.

Yes, James "Buddy" Ryan Sr.

You remember him. Short, pudgy guy. Glasses. Horse lover. Ex-Eagles coach.

"You'd never recognize me as Buddy's son," said Jim Ryan, 33. "I'm 6-3 and skinny."

And now Ryan is faced with possibly having to negotiate a contract with the people who fired his father after five seasons. It remains to be seen whether the NFL will permit Ryan to deal face-to-face with the Eagles, because of Ryan's full-time job as general manager of promotional buying with the NHL.

"There's no hard feelings at all," he said. "People might think that when they hear my name, but no. I remember the first time dad got fired from the Jets (Weeb Ewbank's staff), I was, like, 10, and I was really PO'd. I remember saying to dad, 'How could they do that? You're the best coach in the world.' I hated the Jets for years after that.

"The second time he was fired (Minnesota staff, 1977), I thought it was cruel. He took it hard. This time . . . he just packed up his bags. Like it was just a question of when.

"No, it won't be hard. It's a business, and they made a decision. We'll find out this year if it was a good one. But I know Harry (Gamble) and Tom (Gamble's son, who has assisted with player contracts in the past), and I'm sure we'll keep dad out of it. We might even have a beer afterwards."

Beavers, a 6-2 1/2, 228-pounder from Morehead State, and Ryan were in no mood for celebrating Monday, when the highly rated safety mysteriously slipped

from a projected third-round pick to the last page of the NFL draft.

According to Ryan, Houston had expressed to Beavers an interest in making him their third choice. Ryan, not wanting to get Beavers's hopes too high, had told his client he was projected as a fifth- or sixth-rounder.

"It was pretty disappointing, to say the least," said Beavers, who will join Eagles draftees, 20-some free agents and the veterans today when the team opens its second three-day minicamp at JFK Stadium. "A lot of people, including myself, thought I deserved better than I got. But the important thing is that what I've got now is an opportunity to show people what I do have.

"I'm the kind of guy that won't let it affect my confidence or anything like that. I'm just glad to be an Eagle, and I'm going to make this team, regardless of where I was taken.

"Being a 12th-rounder is just a number they hung on me. That's behind me, like a lot of other things.

"My goal now is to become the steal of the draft for the Eagles."

Several factors left behind likely played roles in Beavers's slide from the high middle rounds to the last. Some teams were uncertain of where he would play in the NFL, outside linebacker, free safety or strong safety. He complicated matters by having a terrible Senior Bowl and being knocked for his inconsistent play-making. And in February, he pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing in a plea-bargain agreement to have a burglary charge against him dropped.

Beavers, the father of a 7-year old daughter, Amy, and a 10-month-old son, Darrel Jr., was arrested for allegedly stealing stereo equipment from a trailer, but had the charges reduced at his hearing after investigators found someone else's fingerprints on the audio equipment. Beavers received a year's probation for the trespassing charge.

"It was a no-win situation," Beavers said. "I pleaded guilty (to trespassing) because the woman who had the CD player stolen testified that she saw me outside her trailer. And I was walking through the lady's yard, but she didn't even accuse me or charge me. The city (Morehead, Ky., police) did.

"It was a situation that didn't make sense fighting it out and risk the chance of going to jail, when I could walk away and get on with my life when they offered me the deal."

Beavers, raising the two kids with his wife, Christy, also could not have afforded to fight the charge through the trial process. The financial considerations are what made draft day so disappointing to the 23-year-old Louisville, Ky., native. There is a world of difference - tens of thousands of

dollars - between high-round signing bonuses and 12th-round money.

"It's going to be a hardship on the family, but that will make me work even harder," Beavers said.

Beavers is finishing up his course work toward a sociology degree at by teaching and counseling juvenile delinquents in Morehead, Ky. He also is very active in the Morehead community, twice this week pounding home the "Stay in School" message to area grade school kids.

"Most of the kids I teach don't have any role models," he said. "Many of them are from broken homes, or have had their parents run out on them, and they just need someone to talk to and look up to.

"Some of them remind me of when I was young, and I can relate to some of their problems and sympathize with all that has been thrown at them, for whatever reasons. Some of them just need someone to give them a shoulder to lean on, understand them and give them direction, and that's what I try to do."

As Beavers begins his transition from the college game to the pros, one factor that should work in his favor - besides his athletic ability, 4.56 speed and 38-inch vertical leap - is his knowledge of the "46" defense. His ties to the Ryan family run deep. Rex Ryan, one of Buddy's 28-year-old twin sons, coached the linebackers and assisted with the secondary at Morehead State.

Eagles coach Rich Kotite said yesterday that they plan to stick Beavers at right outside linebacker in their first look at him this week.

"I know the '46' in and out, every position, since we ran it for four years," said Beavers, who went to Morehead to play basketball, but never did. ''If they need me to play free safety or strong safety, I can play both."

When it was suggested that the Eagles might have plans for him to compete at Jessie Small's right linebacker position, Beavers said, "There's not an offensive lineman who could stop me if I did play outside linebacker."

"Dad thinks he's a bigger version of Andre Waters (5-11, 199)," Jim Ryan said. "He's a terror. People are going to love seeing him make hits.

"He's got awesome athletic ability. Just an awesome blend of size, speed and strength. But I'm his agent. Dad thinks he's a player, and that's good enough for me. Dad thinks he's going to play in the NFL if he gets a good opportunity, and that's what he's got with the Eagles. That's all Darrel wanted, and now he plans on making the most of it."

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