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MIKE TICE IS FOSTERED IN CHICAGO, WILL REPLACE MIKE MARTZ
Tue, 10 Jan 2012 03:22 PM EST

Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith stayed in-house with his research for an offensive coordinator to substitute latterly departed Mike Martz by promoting former offensive line coach Mike Tice to the job. NFL spreads

“I’m emotional to have Mike move into our offensive coordinator position,” Smith declared in a press release. “He has been a priceless associate of our team over the last 2 years and has a superb past record in the NFL. He was particularly inspiring in his job interview yesterday and shares the same vision I have for our offense moving onwards. We would like to be a strong running team with a big-play pass attack. Mike will call plays for us and continue to have a leading role with our offensive line. NFL lines

“To complete our team we’ll be contracting a passing coordinator who will work with our quarterbacks and an offensive line coach.”

Quarterbacks coach Shane Day left with Martz. As for Tice still working with the offensive line, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli also works alongside the defensive line.

After Martz’s spread attack, Tice promised to get back to a rather more standard Bears offense.

“There will be hardness about us. We are going to be a powerful run group and we’re going to be able to mix in blasting pass plays,” Tice said in a declaration. “It will be transcendental for us to use the gifts of our players and exploit matchups every Sunday. We have athletes we can build with. I feel lucky Lovie has placed the trust in me to help move us ahead to a championship.”

Tice, 52, joined the Bears in Jan.2010 after 3 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Notwithstanding Chicago fielding smaller talent and struggling wounds on the offensive line, the unit performed fairly well below his direction. The team lost 2 line starters in 2011, yet the Bears hurried for over 2000 yards for just the 2nd time since 1990.

The Tennessee Titans asked authorization last offseason to interview Tice for an offensive coordinator job. But the Bears instantly rejected and rewarded Tice with a contract extension.

At the time, Tice said that he was “disappointed” he couldn’t pursue the possibility in Tennessee. Curiously the chance to direct an offense has come around once again for Tice.

A former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings (2001-05), Tice inherits an offense with a promising nucleus in quarterback Jay Cutler, running back Matt Forte and receiver Earl Bennett, but one that does lack some firepower.

During his reign in Jacksonville, the Jaguars — employing a smash mouth brand of football — listed among the league’s finest at running the ball. From 2006-09, the Jaguars averaged a league-high 154 yards rushing in division games. From 2005-09, the Jaguars led the NFL with a 138.3-yard rushing average in games on the road, including 127.1 yards per game in Tice’s final season with the team.

A helper head coach with the Jags, Tice played a big part in game-planning and putting together the team’s offensive playbook.

Regardless of his complicated awareness of the running game, Tice also has displayed the proneness to generate fireworks
with the passing attack. Some believe Tice — a previous university quarterback and NFL tight end — has never been an offensive playcaller. But at Minnesota, Tice called plays as offensive coordinator Scott Linehan — now with Detroit — transitioned into his new position.

Tice has shown a penchant for employing the deep passing game, which should jibe well with Cutler, who’s got one of the league’s strongest arms.

The Vikings ranked in the top 5 in yardage during Tice’s second and 3rd seasons as coach and in the top Ten in regards of scoring in 3 years of his five-year permanence.


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