He had worked under head coaches Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano after coming over from Tampa Bay in 2002 when Dungy was fired by the Bucs and hired by the Colts.
One man who was around the Colts for the duration of Christensen’s tenure in Indianapolis is longtime radio play-by-play announcer Bob Lamey, so that makes him well qualified to offer an opinion as to what the Dolphins will be getting in their new offensive coordinator.
“First of all, he’s a great coach,” Lamey said. “Secondly, he gets along with the players. He was marvelous with Andrew Luck, as well as others. He’s been around during the Peyton Manning era and, of course, Andrew Luck. He is outstanding as a teacher. He’s very, very good with the media. I just think we suffered a bad loss and you got a great win there.”
During his 14 seasons with the Colts, Christensen served as wide receivers coach (2002-09), assistant head coach (2008-09), offensive coordinator (2010-11) and quarterbacks coach (2012-15).
Christensen spent six seasons working for Dungy in Tampa Bay and finished as offensive coordinator in 2001 when Keyshawn Johnson set a franchise record with 101 receptions.
In Indy, Christensen was instrumental in the phenomenal success enjoyed by wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, as well as Manning and Luck.
Lamey discussed the impact Christensen had for Manning and Luck.
“Bruce Arians was Peyton’s first quarterback coach; Clyde came in a little bit later when Bruce left and then Bruce came back, but it was a situation where he got Peyton acclimated to the league, brought about an offense and helped with an offense that was quarterback-friendly,” Lamey said. “He was able to get along with Peyton — that’s not a difficult thing to do, but they were always on the same page.
“With Andrew, I think it’s been exactly the same thing. He knew Andrew was going to be a great quarterback, he knew he needed to help him get into the league and I think the combination of Clyde Christensen and our backup quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, have done a great job with Andrew over the last four years. I can’t say enough good things about Clyde as an assistant coach and the way he helped all of us in the building.”
Lamey said the one adjective he would use to describe Christensen is “friendly,” prefacing the comment by saying he realized that might sound strange. He elaborated by saying Christensen always has had good rapport with his quarterbacks, his players in general, as well as the media.
Christensen hasn’t spoken to South Florida reporters since being hired, but he discussed with the Indianapolis Star his decision to leave the Colts and join the Dolphins.
“I always saw myself finishing my career here,” Christensen said. “I just feel the timing was right. Andrew is in a great place. Chuck has a new contract and he’s going to be here. I really do love everything about my job. I don’t have a great answer. But it was a really, really tough decision.
“It’s been a sad couple of days. But there is something energizing about this, too. It’s going to be fun. I can’t wait.”
Christensen has never worked with new Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase, but they have had contact before as Christensen revealed that Gase occasionally would call him from Denver for advice on working with Manning after the future Hall of Famer joined the Broncos in 2012.
Gase said during his introductory press conference that he was planning on calling plays next season, and Lamey said Christensen is very good at accepting input when it comes to formulating a game plan.
“He’s a quarterback coach in somebody else’s system, but I think he bought in to our offensive system, whether it was Pep Hamilton, Rob Chudzinski, Bruce Arians, whomever it happened to be,” Lamey said. “I think he adapts very well. And I will tell you this: By the time next week ends, he’ll know everything there is to know about all your receivers and all your quarterbacks, and then he’ll start figuring out what offense he needs to run to get the best out of all those guys.
“Knowing Clyde, he’s going to ask those guys for their input in the situations. What do you like to do in certain situations? What do you think you’re the best at? He’ll take into consideration what Adam wants to run, what