Clyde Christensen’s professional relationship with Chris Foerster began in 1996, when new Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy hired both as assistants.
In the two decades since, Christensen said he’s “been good friends with [Foerster] and his family.”
And even after Foerster’s national shame, “that hasn't changed.”
So Christensen knows Foerster as well, if not better, than anyone in Dolphins headquarters. And if there was anyone in the building in a position to detect a significant change in his demeanor or health, it would be Christensen.
But Christensen said Foerster showed no signs that he was battling the demons he demonstrated in the line-snorting video he sent a Las Vegas entertainer in recent weeks.
“I didn't see anything coming, and he'll overcome it,” Christensen said. “He has to overcome it. He has to fight it.”
Foerster in a statement said that he is seeking the help he needs to get better. And while no one in Miami has come out and said specifically what help Christensen needs — the model who leaked the video said on the Dan Le Batard Show Wednesday that Foerster used cocaine — it’s clear that people inside and outside of the organization are worried about him.
“As a family, our first and foremost concern is that Chris gets the help he needs,” the Foerster family said in a statement. “We ask that family members be afforded privacy as we work to support each other during this difficult period.”
Christensen, who also worked with Foerster in Indianapolis, said he has had “a great love for [Foerster] and his family” for more than two decades. And that he is praying that his friend gets better.
Christensen also praised the support system in place in Miami, beginning with owner Stephen Ross, and took a veiled shot at ex-Buccaneers lineman Ian Beckles, who ripped Foerster in a podcast earlier this week. Beckles called Foerster “the worst coach” he has ever been around and that he used to watch porn at the office.
“Any ex-player, any ex-coach that would say something really derogatory about Coach Foerster would be an outlier,” Christensen said. “Not that we all don't have people who are sour, but overall, very popular player, very popular coach. And that's the truth of the matter.”
With Foerster gone, added responsibility will fall to Mike Pouncey and Jermon Bushrod, the offensive line’s veterans, to make it work. So far, the team has responded, Christensen said.
The offense has handled the scandal and coaching change “pretty amazingly,” he added.
“[Chris Kuper] and Shane Day and then Pounce and Bush, they'll be the key if we pull this thing off,” Christensen added. “That's some responsibility that maybe they weren't counting on. A little curveball. They've got to step up and go. I believe they will. That's the deal.”