Clyde Christensen mentored Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning before he became Tom Brady’s quarterbacks coach this season. Tom Moore worked with Manning, Terry Bradshaw and many others before the 82-year-old assistant got a chance to coach Brady.
Christensen and Moore are quarterback whisperers on a staff led by Bruce Arians, who once wrote a book called: “The Quarterback Whisperer.”
Having an opportunity to win a Super Bowl with Brady is an excellent way to cap stellar careers, though none of the coaches are ready for retirement.
Christensen and Moore were on the opposite sideline against Brady during the Colts-Patriots rivalry. Both have a different view of the six-time Super Bowl champion after getting to know him during his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think we got to see another side of him that it was a little more open,” said Christensen, who added that he never actually met Brady despite all the times their teams faced each other. “I think people got to know him a little bit. I certainly did. And we had our perception in Indy that was a little bit jaded, certainly in a fun way.
“I think everything surprised me about him. You kind of have this preconceived notion. As you start to get to know him and you met his family and just see what a wonderful human being is. He’s a good man. I knew he was a good football player. We all knew that," Christensen added. "But, as a man, as you get to know these guys and you see them interact with their kids and you see them interact with their parents and you see them interact with their spouses and you see them interact with teammates and how they treat people, that’s all been new for me."
The 65-year-old Christensen sits near Brady on the team bus after games. He overhears conversations Brady has with his family and parents.
“I’ve been touched by that,” Christensen said.
Moore, a wide receivers coach for Pittsburgh for the last two of their four Super Bowl victories with Bradshaw, was the offensive coordinator in Indianapolis during Manning’s tenure with the Colts. He said he sees a lot of similarities with Brady and Manning.
“First of all, they’re both tremendous people, just great individuals,” Moore said. “Their work ethic is very similar. Their preparation is very similar and their competitiveness is very similar. They want to compete. They want to do the process and enjoy the process. And, they enjoy the games and it’s fun to watch, and both of them have had a lot of success. I’ll say this about the success, it’s been earned so they deserve it.”
Christensen jokes around with Brady, telling him some of the championships he won in New England are tainted because of the team’s cheating scandals. Brady fires back, saying the Colts piped-in crowd noise during their games.
Joking aside, Brady appreciates the wisdom from Christensen and Moore.
“I love hearing different ideas and hear how different people approach the game,” Brady said.
One of the biggest questions surrounding Brady as he entered free agency after 20 seasons with the Patriots was his ability to throw deep. Christensen was convinced after watching tape of Brady that he could do it. It took the Buccaneers a while to start clicking on long throws but Brady, at age 43, led the NFL with 36 completions on passes over 20 yards.
“I’ve never seen a guy work as hard at throwing deep balls,” Christensen said. “I really want someone to get an accumulation for me of all the people who said he wouldn’t be able to throw, his arm was gone and he wouldn’t fit into this offense. When I watched that film in free agency, it just wasn’t true. It wasn’t part of (New England’s) offense at that time. They didn’t have a ton of speed on their team. I don’t think he’s ever had any issue with a deep ball. He loves throwing them and he’s an extremely elite, deep-ball thrower.”
Christensen has one Super Bowl ring and Moore has three. On Sunday, they’ll do their part to help the Buccaneers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs so they can earn one more.
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