April 21, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Excerpts from Peyton Manning’s interview about Clyde Christensen

Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning spoke with The Times’ Sam Farmer about longtime NFL offensive guru Clyde Christensen, currently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterbacks coach. Manning and Christensen won a Super Bowl ring with the Indianapolis Colts following the 2006 season.

Manning: I met Clyde at a Pro Bowl in 1999 season, when the Rams beat the Bucs in the NFC championship that year, so championship loser coached the Pro Bowl. I just saw him briefly, I was on the AFC. Just saw him briefly. He was at Ole Miss from 1980-83, so my dad knew Clyde.

In 2002, we hired [Tony] Dungy so he brings Jim Caldwell, Clyde, all those guys with him. Clyde was the quarterbacks coach there. Really, he’s a football coach. He can coach anything. They just hired Caldwell so he was my quarterbacks coach. Clyde became the receivers coach. You spend so much time with those offensive coaches, game plans, out at practice.

But Clyde, we developed a close bond. He loved to play golf, so we would play in the offseason, after workouts, with [Brandon] Stokely and Dallas Clark. He loved having those games with players. Just about as solid a guy as they come.

Since I was out in Denver, he was [Andrew] Luck’s quarterbacks coach, had a big impact on him, but Clyde and I have stayed in touch. He was down in Miami. Down in Tampa. He and Bruce [Arians] go back to Temple, when Bruce was the head coach there.

That’s one thing I like about Bruce. Bruce hires guys that either helped him along the way, or played for him. Tom Moore was the coordinator when I was in Indy, Bruce was the quarterbacks coach. So he kind of paid homage to Tom to bring him back.

Clyde can communicate with anybody — Marvin [Harrison], Reggie Wayne, lots of different personalities. He loves the work, he loves the grind, he loves the football. But he’s always kept it in perspective and has been a great human being as well. Great friend.

Farmer: Matt Hasselbeck talks about the “sermonettes” Clyde would deliver in the quarterback meetings.

Manning: He was Matt’s position coach. He was never my position coach. So there’s no doubt you spend the most time with your position coach. That’s why Caldwell and I were so close. There’s no doubt that Clyde is a strong Christian, with incredible faith, great family man. There’s no doubt that part of his coaching was life lessons. It wasn’t necessarily preaching to you, per se, but trying to be more than just your coach. Be an advisor. Be a resource. His wife, Deb, led the Bible study for the coaches’ wives and players’ wives.

Football is an all-in deal, so there’s more to it than just football. Clyde always was great that way, checking on players, understanding what’s going on in their lives, back home. That’s what’s made him so special.