Christensen likely Bears next QB coach

New Indianapolis Colts GM Ryan Grigson will not retain Clyde Christensen as the team's offensive coordinator, instantly making him a favorite for the passing coach position in Chicago.

Clyde Christensen was hired in 2010 as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Tom Moore, who had held the position for 12 seasons. When the franchise fired GM Bill Polian earlier this month and replaced him with Ryan Grigson, Christensen's future with the team became nebulous.

He was left in limbo for more than a week, not knowing whether he would retain his position with the team. Today, the Colts announced the hiring of Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator, effectively putting Christensen out of work.

Shift gears to Chicago, where the Bears are currently in search of a quarterback coach to replace Shane Day, who was fired along with former coordinator Mike Martz a few weeks back. Coach Lovie Smith was quick in hiring Mike Tice to replace Martz, yet has taken his sweet time in replacing Day.

When Tice was given the coordinator job, the team said they would supplement his promotion with a quarterback/passing coach that would work with Tice to develop the offense's aerial attack. The team so far has interviewed just one candidate, Greg Olson, who chose instead to take the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tice wanted Dirk Koetter, with whom he'd coached while the two were in Jacksonville, yet Koetter decided to take the offensive coordinator position with the Atlanta Falcons. Jeremy Bates, former Seattle Seahawks OC, was also rumored as a candidate, yet reportedly had no interest in the position. The same goes for Jedd Fisch, the OC for the Miami Hurricanes, who balked at the "passing coach" label.

Now that Christensen is no longer with the Colts, it's a good bet he'll be strongly considered for the open position in Chicago. According to sources, Smith has been eyeing Christensen ever since the job opened up. As with the majority of coaches he's added to his staff over the years, Smith and Christensen worked together in the past.

The two served on the same staff in Tampa Bay in the late 1990s. Smith served as linebacker coach from 1996-2000, while Christensen was tight end coach from 1996-1998, then quarterback coach from 1999-2000. Smith left Tampa to take the defensive coordinator position for the St. Louis Rams in 2001, the same year Christensen was promoted to OC for the Bucs. The following season, he was hired as wide receiver coach for the Colts in 2002, a position he held until 2008. For the past three seasons, he's been the OC in Indianapolis. The Colts finished fourth and ninth in total offense in 2009 and 2010 respectively, yet dropped to 30th this year without Peyton Manning.

No official word has been made yet but don't be surprised if the team soon brings in Christensen for an interview. If all goes well, he could be named the passing coach as early as next week.

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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