There have been many questions surrounding the hiring of Mike Tice as offensive line coach; particularly why the Bears would hire an OL coach before the offensive coordinator, and why they would bring in another former NFL head coach who didn't succeed in that role.
Brad Biggs and Dan Pompei bring us a really good article on what the Tice hire means to the Bears, and what we can expect from him in the role of OL coach. A snippet:
The team signed Mike Tice to a two-year deal to be their offensive line coach. He also is expected to have a significant say in the structure of the offense. Tice has been the assistant head coach/tight ends coach for the Jaguars but is one of the league's most respected offensive line mentors.
Initially, Tice said Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio was resistant to letting him interview. But Tice reminded him they had agreed that if another team outside the AFC South offered him an opportunity to coach the offensive line, Del Rio would allow him to leave.
"I really enjoyed coaching tight ends and the group I had, but I wanted to be involved in the pits again," Tice said. "That's what I am."
Make sure you check out the full article here, as it is a really good read.
My thoughts on the hire are this:
- Olin Kreutz may still have a good year or two left in him. Per the article, Kreutz was involved in the interview process with Tice, and everyone seemed to be on the same page. If anyone can get the most out of Kreutz, it's Tice.
- The LG/ RT positions. With Kreutz still holding down the middle, CWilliams solid at the LT spot, and Garza cemented in his RG position, that leaves us with the confusion of the LG and RT spots. I think Tice will be the guy who can figure out the best way to develop Omiyale, Beekman, and (sigh) Shaffer for the future.
- Recruiting. With Tice being as good as they say he is, we'll need a good judge of talent for added depth on our OL. Depending on what he does with Omiyale (LG/RT), we'll either need a new guard or tackle, and I would trust Tice to be able to know who to bring in.
Overall, the Tice hire seems great. He knows the OL better than most in the NFL, so now we have one of the best offensive position coaches in the league to compliment one of the best defensive position coaches.
Now, if we could just find a playcaller for each side of the ball...