Bears Take Step Backwards by Promoting Tice to Offensive Coordinator


Given that Lovie is a lame duck once again, just as many had feared back a couple of years ago after “The Three Bears” press conference when they insisted on the need for sweeping change but also wanted consistency and they sacrificed Ron Turner to appease the football gods, I’m not surprised that he promoted Mike Tice to offensive coordinator.

The search for a new coordinator in 2010 turned into a joke.  Each day a new prospective candidate turned the Bears down.  No one wanted to sign up to ride shotgun on Lovie’s ride into the sunset.  Fast forward to 2012.  Have we seen this movie before?

Do you remember the old mantra that “defense wins championships” when a stout defense and methodical running game to eat up the clock were keys to victory?  Like back in 1985 and throughout the late 80′s and into the early 90′s.  Those days, my friends, are gone.  The game is passing the wonks at Halas Hall by while they try to reinvent the T-formation.

Lovie Smith and Mike Tice share a phylosophy:

“Lovie and I share a similar mindset of what the Bears offense should look and feel like,” Tice said. “There will be a toughness about us. We are going to be a powerful run team and we’re going to be able to mix in explosive pass plays.

It’s the “powerful run team” that jumped off the screen when I read it.  That’s Lovie’s “we get off the bus running the football” singed into my brain.  Tice doesn’t do explosive passing.  I just don’t buy it, but did you notice the passing records that fell this season?  Three quarterbacks topped 5000 yards passing, including division rival Matthew Stafford.  Surprisingly, MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers did not, but he did top 4600 yards.  This league is now set up as a passing league.  Between the rules about hitting the quarterback, pass interference calls and rules for “defenseless” receivers, the league is legislating defense out of the league and with it, so goes the running game.

Let’s take a step back to this whole “interviewing” process?  The Bears interviewed exactly ONE candidate to fill this critical position.   As I stated in the outset of the post, the last thing the Bears needed was another embarrassing OC search, so promoting Tice is the safe way to go.  Could the Bears at least put up an ad on Craigslist, though?  Is there any way that the Bears could dare bring in any outside perspective?  Would it kill Lovie to have someone come in that might challenge him; that wasn’t a FOL – friend of Lovie?  Here’s Lovie:

“I’m excited to have Mike move into our offensive coordinator role,” Smith said. “He has been a valuable member of our staff over the past two years and has an excellent track record in the NFL. He was very impressive in his job interview yesterday and shares the same vision I have for our offense moving forward. We want to be a strong running team with a big-play pass attack.

Why even bother calling it an interview?  Don’t you bring in someone else to at least benchmark Tice and see what else is out there?  Maybe during the interview process, you poach an idea from someone else?

Lovie doesn’t want anyone to challenge him.  That’s why Ron Rivera got his walking papers.  That’s why Lovie brought in Rod Marinelli and surrounds himself with “yes men”.  The Bears offense has struggled during Lovie Smith’s tenure.  They’ve finished ranked 32, 29, 15, 27, 26, 23, 30 and 24 in total offense under Lovie Smith.  It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the Super Bowl season was when they were ranked 15th.  With even a passable offense, this team can succeed and play at a high level.

Lovie Smith and the Bears owed it to themselves and to us to do their due diligence and attempt to hire an offensive mind to take this team into the future.  Instead, they chose to take the easy road and keep the job in house.

BOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!

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  • cunit2230

    @bearsbuzztap my thoughts exactly! #backwards

  • cunit2230

    @bearsbuzztap my thoughts exactly! #backwards

  • jrstaples1

    It’s a nice thought to keep up with the Jones’ of the league, but I think Lovie’s defense pairs best with a successful running offense that can burn up clock. I’m not a Lovie apologist by any stretch, but if they’re going to keep him around they might as well run an offense that pairs well with his bend-but-don’t-break cover 2. I do agree with you, though, that they could have at least made an attempt to look for other options. It is reminiscent of the coaching search two years ago in which they announced several favorites, interviewed few of them and then hired the guy they knew they were going to hire in the first place. I suspect this GM “search” will play out very similarly. That is, they’ll announce several candidates, wait until they get hired elsewhere and then promote Ruskell in the name of continuity.

  • jrstaples1

    It’s a nice thought to keep up with the Jones’ of the league, but I think Lovie’s defense pairs best with a successful running offense that can burn up clock. I’m not a Lovie apologist by any stretch, but if they’re going to keep him around they might as well run an offense that pairs well with his bend-but-don’t-break cover 2. I do agree with you, though, that they could have at least made an attempt to look for other options. It is reminiscent of the coaching search two years ago in which they announced several favorites, interviewed few of them and then hired the guy they knew they were going to hire in the first place. I suspect this GM “search” will play out very similarly. That is, they’ll announce several candidates, wait until they get hired elsewhere and then promote Ruskell in the name of continuity.

  • City

    Been waiting for this post, Boomer! Here’s where the Bears have utterly and completely “f-d” up. By hiring their OC BEFORE bringing in a new GM, they have essentially destroyed any chance they have of getting a good GM (So, get ready for the Ruskell promotion). Had they brough in a good GM, that GM could AT LEAST have attracted a new OC with the promise of letting Lovie finish his contract, then move him out of the way and promote said OC to Head Coach.

    Here’s what the Bears don’t get about offense. The Head Coach NEEDS to be the head of the Offense (NOT THE DEFENSE). That world has changed. Look at all of the best QB’s and offenses today. The offense is called by the Head Coach (NE, GB, ATL, NO, etc…). Why? Because the head coach needs to know what he needs in an offense so he can DRAFT the RIGHT players. This whole best athlete garbage makes no sense anymore. It’s the best athlete that FITS OUR SYSTEM.

    The Bears don’t even have a system. They don’t even understand the concept.

  • City

    Part 2 -

    When I was in college, after growing up a Cubs fan, I came to realize that the Cubs organization didn’t care about winning; they only cared about pretending to care about winning. They only cared about their profit margin. I have come to that same conclusion with the Bears. Their ownership doesn’t care about winning… just about managing the perception well enough to not interfere with their annuity stream of ticket sales and advertising.

    Guys, it’s time to look at the Bears for what they really are. A poorly managed franchise that will never make the decisions or investments necessary to compete as an elite team in this league.

    The sad thing is we’ll be having this discussion again next year, when Lovie is finally fired/retired and a whole new coaching leadership is brought in (under Ruskell of course). And we get McDaniels Ver 2.0.

  • City

    Been waiting for this post, Boomer! Here’s where the Bears have utterly and completely “f-d” up. By hiring their OC BEFORE bringing in a new GM, they have essentially destroyed any chance they have of getting a good GM (So, get ready for the Ruskell promotion). Had they brough in a good GM, that GM could AT LEAST have attracted a new OC with the promise of letting Lovie finish his contract, then move him out of the way and promote said OC to Head Coach.

    Here’s what the Bears don’t get about offense. The Head Coach NEEDS to be the head of the Offense (NOT THE DEFENSE). That world has changed. Look at all of the best QB’s and offenses today. The offense is called by the Head Coach (NE, GB, ATL, NO, etc…). Why? Because the head coach needs to know what he needs in an offense so he can DRAFT the RIGHT players. This whole best athlete garbage makes no sense anymore. It’s the best athlete that FITS OUR SYSTEM.

    The Bears don’t even have a system. They don’t even understand the concept.

  • City

    Part 2 -

    When I was in college, after growing up a Cubs fan, I came to realize that the Cubs organization didn’t care about winning; they only cared about pretending to care about winning. They only cared about their profit margin. I have come to that same conclusion with the Bears. Their ownership doesn’t care about winning… just about managing the perception well enough to not interfere with their annuity stream of ticket sales and advertising.

    Guys, it’s time to look at the Bears for what they really are. A poorly managed franchise that will never make the decisions or investments necessary to compete as an elite team in this league.

    The sad thing is we’ll be having this discussion again next year, when Lovie is finally fired/retired and a whole new coaching leadership is brought in (under Ruskell of course). And we get McDaniels Ver 2.0.