BOURBONNAIS IL - JULY 30: Offensive line coach Mike Tice of the Chicago Bears walks out for a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on July 30 2010 in Bourbonnais Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
I've always liked Mike Tice. . .he may not be the most eloquent speaker, and when he does speak he has a tendency to say things that he shouldn't (see also: The "Randy Ratio"), but I always thought he got a bit of a raw deal in Minnesota. He was unfortunate enough to be the head coach during the tenure of Red McCombs, who did everything with the Vikings on the cheap. For crying out loud, in Tice's final season here, Steve Loney was serving as both the offensive coordinator and the offensive line coach at the same time, because McCombs wouldn't let Tice hire more people to his staff. He also did a pretty damn fine job during the tumultuous 2005 season of steering the Vikings to a winning record despite all the things that went on.
This past season, he was with the Chicago Bears as their offensive line coach, and though the Bears' offensive line was a disaster when the season started. . .witness Jay Cutler getting sacked nine times in a half against the New York Giants if you want visual proof. . .Tice moved some parts around and adjusted a few schemes, and the Chicago offensive line got markedly better over the course of the season.
Now, our friends over at Music City Miracles are reporting that Tice is a serious candidate for the Tennessee Titans' offensive coordinator job under their new head coach, Mike Munchak.
Personally. . .and, again, I might be biased, since I've already said that I'm a huge Tice fan. . .but I think that losing Mike Tice would be a huge blow to the Chicago Bears. Brian Billick declared that what Tice had done with the Bears' offensive line over the course of the 2010 season was "nothing less than miraculous," and I tend to agree. There were few assistant coaches anywhere that did the job that Tice did last year with the Bears. Whoever Chicago would get to replace Tice in the position of offensive line coach would undoubtedly be a downgrade. . .and, hey, any advantage that the Bears want to give us in our efforts to catch them for the NFC North title is a welcome one, in my book.
So, that's two good reasons to hope that Mike Tice gets this job as the Titans' offensive coordinator. . .not only does the guy deserve a shot to climb the ladder, but it would definitely be a blow to one of our closest rivals.