After reaching the Super Bowl twice as a member of Tony Dungy’s staff with the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen is back on the biggest stage in sports. He worked with Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck during his time with the Colts, and is now the position coach for another all-time great in Tom Brady.
“It’s not easy, you know?” Christensen said this week on the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “And that’s why it is so fun when you do get there and it does come together, and you do have that year where it hits and you make it [to the Super Bowl]. Hopefully we can try and win one more and it’d be special. But it’s been quite a journey.”
It was Christensen who urged head coach Bruce Arians to bring Brady to Tampa after doing his due diligence on the longtime New England Patriot as a potential free agent. He could not believe the things Brady was still able to do 20 years into his career.
“It was kind of unique because it was really routine,” Christensen said of Brady becoming a Buccaneer. “It wasn’t any big, funny story. It was just starting down my free-agent list.”
Since joining the Bucs’ coaching staff prior to the 2019 season, Christensen has also served as an unofficial spiritual leader within the organization, helping disciple younger coaches. He is part of a group of 26 coaches – as well as a few players – who are going through the Bible in a year together. They meet every week to discuss what they read.
“As soon as we came here, we lost our chaplain and [Clyde] took that role,” outside linebackers coach Larry Foote told Sports Spectrum during a media session this week. “He’s definitely a light in this building. He puts his foot on everybody, coaches and players, as far as, you know, be on time for Bible study, praying throughout the building, on the road. He’s definitely helped me grow as a believer.”
Listen to the heart of Buccaneers QB coach Clyde Christensen as he gets emotional over how great our God is.
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) February 3, 2021
Before embarking on this run to the Super Bowl, Christensen was stuck at home like everyone else during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic. He used the time to take a step back and deepen his relationship with God.
“I think He made me lie down in green pastures and He restored my soul,” Christensen said. “It was really a sweet, sweet, sweet time with Him.”
This is Christensen’s second stint with Tampa Bay. He served as the team’s tight ends coach, quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 1996-2001, when Dungy was the head coach. He followed Dungy to Indianapolis after the 2001 season.
Those two longtime friends joined forces to help launch All Pro Dad, a non-profit organization that emphasizes the importance of being a good father, in 1997. In conjunction with this year’s Super Bowl, All Pro Dad is releasing a new resource called Race Conversations for Families, created by Dungy and Christensen. Dungy is also co-hosting Football Sunday this week with former NFL tight end Benjamin Watson.
Through it all, and whether he wins a second championship on Sunday or not, Christensen knows God is at work in both the good times and the bad.
“It’s not a straight line on this journey but God is faithful and He does show up in a special way,” he said.
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