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Clausen 'torn' due to coaching ties
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Chuck Clausen will admittedly be a little torn between the teams playing in Super Bowl XLII tonight in Glendale, Ariz. Clausen, a Hall County resident, spent many years coaching in the college and professional ranks as an assistant, making personnel connections with current members of both the New York Giants and New England Patriots.

"I’d really like to see both teams be able to win," Clausen said. "But I think New England will probably win.

"I really want to see a good football game."

Clausen’s coaching career had him cross paths with both head coaches, as well as Patriots starting linebacker Junior Seau.

Clausen says he doesn’t regularly keep in touch with any participants of these Super Bowl teams now that he lives in Georgia, but still remembers well the time when he helped do his part to bring Giants coach Tom Coughlin onto the coaching staff with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In 1984, Clausen was the linebackers coach with the Eagles and was commissioned by then-head coach Marion Campbell to find a new wide receivers coach for their fleet of receivers including promising first-round pick Mike Quick. Campbell instructed Clausen to look to the college coaching ranks to find someone suitable for coaching and molding these wide receivers.

"He wanted a good teacher for the wide receivers," Clausen added.

Clausen says he called around and got about 10 recommendations, and the same unfamiliar name kept popping up: Tom Coughlin.

At the time, Coughlin was the quarterbacks coach at Boston College, and Clausen didn’t know the young assistant college coach personally. Clausen returned to Campbell with the results of his search. Coughlin was immediately brought in to discuss the job opening and promptly hired, where he spent the next two seasons with the Eagles.

"Tom is a good person and players really appreciate his consistency," Clausen said. "But he’s a tough-minded, strict coach. He reminds me of Woody Hayes, Vince Lombardi or even Bobby Ross."

Clausen didn’t know at the time that Coughlin would become a Super Bowl coach and have such a long coaching career in the NFL. All he knew at the time was Coughlin, then 38, was a very good coach.

He says he doesn’t stay in touch with the Giants’ coach on a regular basis. The last time the two spoke was "about a year ago" for 15-20 minutes, when Clausen was trying to set up a visit to their training facility for a local high school football coach who was visiting the area.

Clausen’s ties to Seau go back to when he coached the defensive line with the San Diego Chargers in 1991. Clausen says that Seau is the final player he coached that is still playing in the league. Although Clausen coached the defensive line, he says that they would use the future Hall of Fame linebacker as a pass rusher.

Clausen never coached with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, but in 1976 he did get to know the young assistant to Baltimore Colts coach Ted Marchibroda. Clausen says the two got to know each other as Clausen’s Eagles had training camp down the road in Baltimore and through playing each other twice each season.

At the time, "young Bill" was more well-known for his father’s accomplishments as a college scout and assistant coach at Navy, Clausen says.

Since then Belichick has flourished as coach of three Super Bowl championship teams in New England.

"What a spectacular job he’s done in New England," Clausen said. "Going 16-0 in the regular season is a remarkable accomplishment."

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