Second of a Two-Part Look Deeper into Colts Assistant Head Coach Clyde Christensen
INDIANAPOLIS – In one sense, not much will change.
But in another, very real sense, his boss said the role Clyde Christensen plays on the Colts' coaching staff may change a great deal in the coming months.
Christensen, the Colts' wide receivers coach since 2002, was promoted to assistant head coach/receivers this past January shortly after former Associate Head Coach Jim Caldwell succeeded Tony Dungy as the team's head coach.
Caldwell said Christensen will continue to work with the receivers on a day-to-day basis.
But now, he will be asked to do more.
"Clyde's going to be a great help," Caldwell said recently, adding that as assistant head coach Christensen would fill the head coach role if Caldwell cannot be at the office.
"He would take on the role, conduct meetings, and whatever else is deemed necessary," Caldwell said.
Christensen, an assistant for 17 years on the collegiate level and the past 14 on Dungy's staffs in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis, served as Tampa Bay tight ends from 1996-98, quarterbacks coach in 1999-2000 and offensive coordinator in 2001.
In Tampa Bay, he coached wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson before coaching Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison in Indianapolis during a combined 10 Pro Bowl seasons.
"This will be a great opunity for me just to keep doing what I'm doing and also maybe assume a little bit more responsibility and see some more of the inner workings, and I'm thankful for the opportunity," Christensen said.
"I don't see the day-to-day stuff changing a whole bunch but we'll have to see how that goes."
Christensen said while his in-game role likely will remain unchanged – and while he will continue working with the receivers throughout the offseason and season – there may be some added responsibility in the area of big-picture thinking and administration.
"Game day, I think it will be exactly the same thing," Christensen said. "I think he may give me some different responsibilities on game day as far as just feeding him some information. I do think it's kind of a feeding-him-some-information type of thing.
"He may give me three things to get done at the (NFL Scouting) Combine (in February). You know, 'Hey, let's have a discussion on this. How much are people practicing in pads?' Then I will research that for him and do some of the legwork for him, just where we can have discussion on different topics that are out-of-the-box type of topics."
Christensen, who played quarterback for North Carolina in 1977 and 1978, spent 1994-95 as co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Clemson, before which he was quarterbacks coach at Maryland in 1992 and 1993.
In 1991, Christensen served as running backs coach at South Carolina. He coached at Holy Cross from 1989-1990, serving as receivers/tight ends coach in 1989 and offensive coordinator in 1990.
From 1986-88, Christensen was offensive coordinator, running backs and quarterbacks coach and in charge of recruiting at East Carolina. He coached quarterbacks and wide receivers at Temple from 1983-85, before which he was quarterbacks and receivers coach at East Tennessee State from 1980-82.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Mississippi in 1979.
Now, Caldwell said, Christensen will be valuable on a different level in areas such as scheduling and generating new ideas.
"Obviously, he still coaches the wide receivers, but Clyde's another set of eyes and ears for me," Caldwell said. "He'll take a look at a situation and give me his thoughts on it. We'll work together on a number of different issues as we put together our plan for the season, but also he has a lot of experience."
Caldwell also noted Christensen's experience working with offensive coordinator Tom Moore in an offense that ranked in the Top 10 every season from 1999-2007.
"He has been around the block," Caldwell said. "He has been involved in this system for quite some time. He knows it well. Clyde has great ideas. That's the thing about him that a lot of people don't realize. He gives me an opportunity to think about some things you ordinarily wouldn't think about in certain situations, particularly when it comes to organization. He's good at that."