Leave it to the Bears’ luck to take the easy route to just promote offensive line coach Mike Tice to the offensive coordinator position to now have him as a candidate for the Raiders’ head coaching job. The web was abuzz about it on Wednesday with countless scribes sounding the alarm if Tice heads to Oaktown. Let’s not push the panic button just yet.
Tice was and is the easy choice, the devil you know, but since when is he the end-all, be-all to offensive football. The guy hasn’t ever even been an offensive coordinator before?
When he got the promotion, he said all the right things, but at the core, he is a run-first, smash you in the mouth kind of coach. He isn’t going to out-finesse anyone and it’s unlikely that he’s going to outshoot someone. In today’s NFL, that isn’t exactly jumping off a resume.
If Tice leaves, Lovie Smith and the Bears brass end up with egg on their face yet again. Should we really be surprised? That seems to happen every offseason. Tell me if you’ve seen this classified ad before:
Team with lame duck head coach seeks offensive coordinator. No experience necessary. Will train. No guaranteed contract beyond 2012 season. No relocation expenses. Salary commensurate with experience.
If you said 2009, you’d be correct. Lovie was skating on paper thin ice and Mike Martz was the only guy willing to take a risk and help out his old buddy Lovie Smith. Two years and countless Jay Cutler sacks later, we know how that ended up.
Yet Lovie remains with no GM, no offensive line coach, no quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator while the offense is a mess.
Jay Cutler is coming off his best stretch of games as a Bear, but can he continue to perform at that level while learning another new system? The franchise running back Matt Forte is likely to get the franchise tag and while “hold out” wasn’t cited directly, it sure sounded that way to me.
To say the offensive line is a work in process would be generous, to say it needs another overhaul is probably a lot more accurate. There is no pass catching tight end to speak of and the best tight end prospect you have is going to be a free agent. Do you re-invest or try again?
The wide receiving corp consist of a nice third down possession receiver in Earl Bennett, a nearly-crippled Johnny Knox, a return-man gadget guy in Devin Hester and a handful of undrafted free agents and wanna-be’s.
Who wouldn’t want that job? Come to think of it, who would? Maybe when Tice heads to Oakland for that interview, he never comes back.