Chicago Sun-Times

Bears OC Mike Tice gets Brian Billick seal of approval

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NFL Network and Fox analyst Brian Billick gave another ringing endorsement of Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Billick, a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Baltimore Ravens, was Tice's position coach for two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings (1992-93). He was the offensive coordinator in 1995 when he talked Tice into coming out of retirement for the final three games of the regular season, then hired Tice as a tight ends coach the following season.

''Mike is going to do a great job,'' Billick said. ''He's going to bring a mentality -- Mike has a complete view of the game. Remember he was a head coach, and Mike has a bigger view of the game, and he has a certain mentality that is going and that's why in my opinion Lovie [Smith] made him the offensive coordinator because he wants that mentality.

''They're going to run the ball. They're going to be physical. They need some things. They need an outside receiver to give Jay Cutler - the best thing that ever happened to the Chicago Bears was Jay Cutler getting hurt because now the fans who were on him, now without him they're going, 'Oh no, no, no. We were a lot better off with him. So he's kind of pushed that off, we're not going to hear as much of that chatter I don't think.

''If they can get an outside receiver threat ... they're going to throw the ball plenty well, but that toughness that Mike brings to it, that's just what Lovie Smith wants to do in Chicago, so I think Mike will do a great job.''

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Here's an ugly scenario: Mike Tice's offense performs brilliantly; so brilliantly that it saves Lovie Smith his job; Lovie of course gets a contract extension; Mike Tice is rewarded a head coaching job elsewhere; we are stuck with Lovie. Or: MikeTice accepts a head-coacing job elsewhere and Jeremy Bates is credited with the offense's success; Jeremy is given the role of offensive coordinator; Lovie gets an extension. The point is: hope for failure this year or be stuck with Lovie.

Creighton, I really think your argument that Jay is setting Lovie up by making him clearly accountable is supportable. Nice work.

So what I don't get is why people are talking about bringing in Marty Schottenheimer as a head coach (again), yet no one is making any calls to Billick. I thought he was a pretty good coach, and was definitely an offensive mind to reckon with back in his day as an OC. He gets a lot of flak for not having a great offense in Baltimore, but when the team is constructed like it was, with a dominant defense, and a passable offense, they weren't going to ever be an offensive powerhouse. If by some miracle Lovie gets an extension and is here for a few more years, you will see the opposite. The offense will be the strength of this team, and the defensive-minded coach will have a marginal defense, much like Tony Dungy in Indianapolis, with the team built around a franchise QB.

Either way, I think Billick would be good for a young QB, or for a young team, because of his ability to teach the game. He still has passion for coaching, as you can tell by his broadcasting style, and he definitely has more ability than a lot of the head coaches in the league right now. I would not be too upset if he was Lovie's replacement after this season, as I would bet we are going to get an offensive-minded coach this time, since we have had 3 in a row of defensive coaches, and no titles...

Yeah I heard Tice's wife and his kids also gave him the seal of approval. Like it matters until anyone actually sees what Tice is going to run here and how he handles play calling. More importantly what talent they give him. Right now I am still trying to get my head around the fact that Tice and Lovie think the offensive line has been great. We will see sense both men have identified Webb as the vital cog on the line who is consistant and how they love him and think he is a great left tackle. We will see cause if he starts and continues to play like he has the last two years, they will have a lot to answer for.

Oh and anyone remember those Billick offenses in Baltimore, not exactly good were they? The defense was good and that had little to do with him. No Billick had a good offense when he had lots of talent.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on February 25, 2012 10:30 AM.

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