Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer first reported the news this morning that the Chicago Bears have promoted offensive line coach Mike Tice to fill their vacant offensive coordinator position. The Bears confirmed the news shortly thereafter.
According to the team, they plan to hire a replacement offensive line coach—although Tice will remain involved on some level—as well as an offensive coordinator’s assistant to replace former QB coach Shane Day and also to assist with the passing game. Mike Tice, however, will call plays on gameday.
According to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, who used to cover the Vikings during Tice’s tenure there, the former head coach does have experience calling offensive plays. He has never held the role of offensive coordinator, though.
This move only reinforces my position that Lovie Smith is not as powerful at Halas Hall as many have feared over the last couple of days, following the firing of general manager Jerry Angelo. Smith did ultimately make the decision to promote Tice—per his role as head coach—but it gives the sense that he feels the pressure to win next season, which was adamantly stated as being the goal by both Ted Phillips and George McCaskey this week.
Everything that has happened for the Bears this offseason paints the picture of taking one last run towards a championship before the rebuilding begins. And, the current core in place has the ability to do that if the majority of the coaching staff remains in place, the players stay relatively healthy and the team gets some help in the draft.
The Bears were simply not comfortable taking that last shot at a title with another Angelo draft class. Mark my words; it may take a Super Bowl victory to keep Lovie Smith and crew here after next season. And if they don’t accomplish that, the new GM will begin his reign.