Run-first Tice Will Still Need To Air It Out

Run-first Tice Will Still Need To Air It Out

Last offseason, the Bears denied the Titans from interviewing Mike Tice for their offensive coordinator position. With Mike Martz being on a short leash and signed for only one more year, Lovie Smith knew that if Martz were to leave he would promote Tice in Martz's place.

Promoting Tice was the logical choice for Smith because he likely won't overhaul a new offensive system. He knows the personnel and the playbook and will makes the transition easier for Cutler.

Tice, a former college quarterback, knows what the Bears' strengths are on offense. It's Matt Forte and Jay Cutler. Tice has emphasized the importance of running the ball and moving the pocket for Cutler. Don't be surprised if Tice will mix in the deep passing game off the play action.

As the head coach with the Vikings he had a one of the league's best offenses. In 2002 and 2003, his run offense ranked first and fourth in yards. In his five years, the Vikings were ranked in the top four in offense in three years and ranked in the top eight in points scored in four years.

Needless to say, Tice did have an up-and-coming Daunte Culpepper, Randy Moss and Robert Smith. Martz came to the Bears thinking that he could replicate the success he had with the "Greatest Show On Turf" Rams but didn't have the same type of personnel with the Bears. As it stands now, the Bears' personnel more closely resembles Tice's Vikings than Martz's Rams, expect for one position -- wide receiver.

Moving into the offseason and into free agency, there will be a bull market of wide receivers. The players available may not be like the Randy Moss of the early 2000's but they will be better than who the Bears currently have on their roster. Expect the Bears to grab weapons for Cutler in this make-or-break year.

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