That lovable lug Mike Tice will once again be prowling the sidelines for an NFC North team, but not as a head coach. Yet.
According to various sources, including ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the former Vikings head man, who was fired one year into the Zygi Wilf regime to make way for Brad Childress, has landed a gig as offensive line coach with the Purple’s hated rivals the Chicago Bears.
Tice’s hiring comes as part of a major coaching staff overhaul for the Bears, who have retained Lovie Smith but gotten rid of almost everyone else, including offensive coordinator Ron Turner. Tice will be charged with the difficult task of helping rebuild an offensive line that looked less-than-impressive in 2009, especially in run blocking.
Before this, Tice spent several years as assistant head coach and tight ends coach in Jacksonville. He was a tight ends coach and then an offensive line coach in Minnesota before being elevated to head coach upon the firing of Dennis Green.
In the latter stages of Dennis Green’s run in Minnesota, it was believed that Green had utterly lost the team, and Tice was the de facto head coach. Tice was aided in apparently usurping Green by his chummy relationship with Randy Moss, a relationship that went south after Tice was officially handed the reins.
A bit of friendly advice for Lovie Smith: Given Tice’s experience in the fine art of undermining an embattled head coach and finally taking his job, mainly by gaining the loyalty of star players, you might want to limit Tice’s interaction with Jay Cutler. Just sayin’.