While it may not have been in the best interests of advancing Mike Tice’s career, the Bears’ refusal to grant the Tennessee Titans permission to talk to him about their offensive coordinator vacancy was the right move for the Bears.
Lovie Smith has usually been in favor of his assistants taking better jobs, even when it meant losing talented coaches, but Tice’s situation is unique. He has been instrumental in converting a mediocre group into a unit that was good enough to help the Bears get to the NFC championship game.
But there is still much work to be done before the Bears’ offensive line is a championship-caliber group.
Tice did excellent work last season, especially with seventh-round draft pick J’Marcus Webb, who started the final 14 games, including two in the playoffs and showed excellent potential. And, with the Bears expected to choose at least one offensive lineman early in this year’s draft, Tice’s experience and expertise will be needed again.
In addition, at this late date, the Bears would find it impossible to hire a replacement with anywhere close to Tice’s qualifications. And, with a work stoppage a virtual certainty, the last thing an offensive line that is still a work in progress needs is a new coach.
Keeping Tice on staff was the right thing to do for the team.
Giving Tice a new contract – and a raise – would be the right thing to do for him.