Posted: 10:42 am Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Where do you stand on the Mike Tice hire? 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

This hire reeks of cronyism.

It will be interesting to see who else the Falcons interviewed for the offensive line position. Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reported that they were blocked from talking to Minnesota’s Jeff Davidson. (Word is that he was pretty ticked off, too.)

mike tice; atlanta falcons; chicago bears; nfl; football; nfl football

Mike Tice was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 2012. (Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Apparently, things shifted quickly to Tice.

I haven’t finished crunching numbers on him, but the early numbers don’t look good for Matt Ryan. Unless there’s a major influx of talent upgrades, Matty Ice will be on the run again in 2014.

Tice’s lines have had trouble protecting the passer, too. It will depend how much of the blame you want to place on Mike Martz’ Super-Bowl winning scheme for some of Tice’s woes.

In his seven seasons as an offensive line coach, his unit was ranked in the top 10 in sacks allowed three times. In 2010, his Chicago Bears line led the league with 56 sacks. In 2011, his Chicago line gave up 49 sacks, fifth in the league. In 2001, his Minnesota line gave up 47 sacks, which ranked 7th in the league.

In 1998, Tice had his best pass-protecting unit with Minnesota. They gave up 25 sacks and ranked 25th in the league.

Like Smith’s other recent hires, Tice has worked with him in the past. He was assistant head coach/offense on the Jacksonville staff in 2006 and was the assistant head coach/tight ends from 2007-09, while Smith served as the defensive coordinator.

After the 2011 season when Smith was looking for new coordinators, he hired Mike Nolan, who he’d worked with in Baltimore and Dirk Koetter, who was on the staff in Jacksonville.
Was Tice the best offensive line coach candidate out there or just the most comfortable?

TICE’S OFFENSIVE LINES
YEAR TEAM SACKS RANK
1997 Minnesota 33 21
1998 Minnesota 25 25
1999 Minnesota 43 12
2000 Minnesota 35 17
2001 Minnesota 47 7
2010 Chicago 56 1
2011 Chicago 49 5

63 comments
THE_INFAMOUS_DK
THE_INFAMOUS_DK

The only reason I like this hire...  Is because it will get Mike Smith Fired next year.. 

THE_INFAMOUS_DK
THE_INFAMOUS_DK

Another Mike Smith bum hire..  Mike Smith should fire Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitrioff..  

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

michaeltThomposn.

Interesting articles. Up til now everyones is spouting doom and gloom over this new hire. 

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

AintsgonnagetREAMED. Saturday.

Arx
Arx

As much as I like our HC and GM, it seemed an appropriate time to take the next step; to finish what was begun... but that ended in the NFC Championship just last year. Tice is clearly not the answer and that AB has allowed this swerve and dodge is just a little more than surprising. 

MikeisBack
MikeisBack

Dled, Tice is a interesting hire...I'm little surprised too.  However, I did kind of have a favorable view of him as a coach...before you show me those stats.lol


He should have a wealth of knowledge...with his time in the league.  Will that translate into improved play by the OL...THAT will depend on TD.



FalconJames
FalconJames

After reading all the post, I felt the need to weigh in. JSSN make some good point and he seem to know alot about Football in general. So I will give him credit where credit is due.  The OL performance this season lack in more way than one. I don't believe all the problem can be fix simply by hiring a OL coach. They must be something more that Blank and Smith saw in this guy other than the list of failure that DOL posted up. If the Falcon are going to keep that weak arm QB Ryan alive next season, they are going to need real help. It may come down to Smith putting on a uniform and going out on the field of play.

SaintsREAM
SaintsREAM

Next year the Falcons can woo Petrino back! Obviously, these coaches have 9 lives!

LeftisnotRight
LeftisnotRight

Has Mr. Blank drawn a line with his Coach and GM..........?
 Is this it?

B_D
B_D

This Jacksonville connection with Smitty is going to get him fired.  Mike Tice is not someone who comes to mind when bringing in a coach to fix something.  We need coaches who come from winning programs and have been used to being around others who understand what it takes to win.  Not just for a season, but consistently.  Since it is a done deal, we can just take a wait and see approach on this hire.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Fired line coaches weren't the problem just as Tice is not the answer. The problem is with the personnel on the field which is squarely on TD.

Falcons63
Falcons63

Dman..  Just my opinion but I think Ledbetter lacks real football knowledge... and don't get me started on the need for him to proofread his articles.  He reminds me of some of the boosters at the HS where I coach.  They know very little about the game, but they are the first to break out the torches and burn you in effigy.

slydawg
slydawg

Cronyism? Why, you don't say. Smith is on the warm-to-hot-seat. I believe after being refused permission to talk to Davidson, he got impatient. If he is going down, he is going down with his friends. This may be a decent hire and I will tell you why? Mike Tice specializes in prolific offenses with sub-par offensive line play/talent. Go back through D-led's list of years he has worked and check the numbers. 1997-2001: Cris Carter, Randy Moss, Randall Cunningham, Brad Johnson, Daunte Culpepper, Jake Reed, Robert Smith,etc. Furthermore, in 2010 and 2011, was not Mike Martz the OC? His offense would get any QB HIT A LOT!!!! So, under those circumstances, he may actually know how to work with chicken sh****

saviorfaire
saviorfaire

DLed, you just said all that needs to be said - In his seven seasons as an offensive line coach, his unit was ranked in the top 10 in sacks allowed three times. In 2010, his Chicago Bears line led the league with 56 sacks. In 2011, his Chicago line gave up 49 sacks, fifth in the league. In 2001, his Minnesota line gave up 47 sacks, which ranked 7th in the league.


Arthur Blank is crazy to sit back and allow this type of incompetence. Mike Smith wants to work with everyone that he worked with in Jacksonville (As if they won a championship?). It doesn't even matter what kind of results they attained in their position. No team that is trying to improve would hire an OC that finished with one of the worst offenses in the league, and make him their Offensive Coordinator (Dirk Koetter). And now we have the hiring of an Offensive Line coach from the same former team who has coached for other teams and had marginal results? Why this team does not hire from best available talent makes no sense? You build a team with a bunch of under achievers and you will be an underachiever! You can't expect to do the same things over and over again,and have different results. Mike Smith wants guys that think like him and agree with him. He's a friendly guy with a friendly team, that plays a friendly game. That's the best kind of opponent there is. They're good for improving your stats and getting an easy victory. 

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Saints fans love the hire!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!

gfw
gfw

My reaction:  ZZZZZZZ.  Who cares?  This is all window dressing.  Did you watch the four games this weekend?  Did you see the talent level on the offensive lines?  Did you notice the running backs and receivers?   Where are we in this scheme of things?  Until we get a lot more talented, we're doomed to mediocrity.  The non-firing of Dimitroff for his horrible talent-assessment and team-building is the only Falcons story worth telling.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

This also confirms suspicions that Smitty, although a nice guy, does not have the horsepower to craft a championship team. I guess TD had to sign off on this hire so at least he's gone also.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

LOL...I just read Ledbetter's column after I posted the same on the previous article about Tice's hire. If Blank were smart, he'd fire Smitty on the basis of this hire. There's no way Smitty can justify hiring Tice and still cling to his claim that he intends to build a super bowl caliber OL, team.

SezWho
SezWho

WTF!! Addressing pass protection issues with a coach whose teams have been notably bad at pass protection??!!!?? And a guy who was kicked out of the league by the NFL front office for a ticket scandal??!!? Sounds like a great hire to me!

TrueFalconFan
TrueFalconFan

To all you human resource personnel genius/freaks out there if you had the opportunity to make your pick of OL coach and the candidates are as follows: incumbents "FIRED" Pat Hill & Paul Dunn and new comer Mike Tice

Who’s your pick dah ---- Mike Tice ---- get over it!

Go Falcons


As my ole buddy Esquire sings & JSSn jus loves his song, here we go


5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

Sis-Boom-Bah
Sis-Boom-Bah

More Jacksonville Puke!!

Tice was supposedly unemployed for a year, so naturally he was “anxious to come to Atlanta” – apparently no one else would have him. Notably, Lovie Smith didn’t try to get him to come to Tampa Bay.

Obviously the two other identified prospects (only briefly unemployed), Cullen & Kollar, had already opted to go elsewhere. Were they even interested enough in Atlanta to consider an interview with the Falcons? Probably not. Of course, the Falcons will deny ever having had any interest in them.

Of well, sub-mediocrity loves company – welcome to Jacksonville North Mr. Tice.

MichaelThompson
MichaelThompson

I say a resounding "good job"! Everybody knows whether your talking offensive or defensive line play, it's all about imposing your will on your opponent. No doubt, this is all about attitude and mental toughness. All the press I read about Tice speaks very clearly that he will bring mental toughness, attitude and an edge to the Falcons o line. http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons


Get Dirty Birds!

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

Well, crap, crap, crap, crap - what a crappy hire - the Jacksonville connection continues in Atlanta - in Jax, with Smith, Koetter and Tice, they were crappy.  Then, in ATL with Smith and Koetter they just finished first to worst, mirroring the Jax NON-SUCCESS -  now they re-create the triumvirate with Arthur hoping to get "tougher" on the O- line


"Tice’s lines have had trouble protecting the passer, too. It will depend how much of the blame you want to place on Mike Martz’ Super-Bowl winning scheme for some of Tice’s woes...".


Well, just crap...which is what Ryan will be doing for most of the next 16 games, but at least he has his $100+mil to keep him happy post game...the fans, not so much...

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

The NFL, on the coaching level is all about cronyism. You are the beat writer for an NFL team. Why is this a surprise?

ATL89
ATL89

I checked his resume, (on Wikipedia of course) he's a good hire, but my fear is the personnel that he has to work with, because if he dealing with an O-Line that looks very similar to the one we have now, he is going to have problems. Also, it's going to be tough to get a brand newly built O-Line to gel and be playoff ready all in one year. We cannot afford to make a mistake on any additions to the O-Line, whether it's through drafting or free agency...we have got to have a line this guy can work with. 

Dman
Dman

He sure seems to know how to get sacks based on his last two years in Chicago. I think it was a good hire but I don't fault the former coach. I fault the actual players lack of ability...

JSSN
JSSN

You think Ditka was "comfortable" with Buddy Ryan? No, but he knows that he needed that element to make his team viable. The same goes for George Halas and George Allen (couldn't stand each other), but the work dynamic was solid.

Falcons63
Falcons63

I don't have a problem with the hire.  Common sense would dictate most head coaches are more comfortable hiring people they have worked with before.  Just another Ledbetter article of ignorance.

JSSN
JSSN

"Somebody please tell me what NFL team coaching staff in this league is not made up from the "my good ole buddy system" - or cronyism?"

Geez... Chip Kelly's staff in Philly wasn't "crony" hires. But as you lecture everyone about hiring. And it shows!


AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Arthur Blank hates "flash moves", 


but cronyism is o.k. 

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Hey its the racist sheet wearer Joe Tess.............

ATLFalconsFan4Life
ATLFalconsFan4Life

This doesn't make me feel any better...  Mike Tice hasn't done anything great on the O-LINE...  Matt Ryan needs feel he has a pocket.  We need personnel on the OLINE and we have to focus on the DLINE....  ZERO pressure on the QBs this year...

Again, Mike Smith can't make adjustments to defenses, hasn't scored 10 points total in the 3rd quarter EVER, and Dimitroff can't pick personnel...

Has our OC shown up yet?  Because I couldn't tell this season...  Koeter has he found Flowery Branch yet or the GA DOME?  I don't think he's shown up for work yet...


I'm not confident at all with this team.  Thomas & Mike needed to go 2 years ago!! 

Barves_Loss_Agian
Barves_Loss_Agian

Fist U need 2 balme Dummytroff 4 this mess as he faled 2 sigh qualit talent. Fring the asst caochs do no good. 

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

It reeks of Smitty signing his firing papers if this is not the correct hire. Simple!

THE_INFAMOUS_DK
THE_INFAMOUS_DK

But its coaching that allowed people to come back after two quarters.. Dimitrioff is sitting upstairs when that happens.. All Bums.. Mike Smith is in over his head as well as Dimitrioff..

Hemmorid_Sufferer_2
Hemmorid_Sufferer_2

@Falcons63 As I stated yesterday. Cronyism in the NFL is the standard. This should not be a surprise for anyone that covers the sport. Hell, I am not paid to cover it and I know better. 

JSSN
JSSN

@Falcons63  


Not a supporter of Ledbetter, but you people are beating a dead horse. You don't serve as the beat writer covering the Holgrem, Fritz Shumur, and Ron Wolf led Packers and not have "real football knowledge."


I've said this before and I'll say it again, DImitroff, Smith, and in turn the whole operational apparatus in Flowery Branch are the most media restrictive one in the League (even more than the Patriots). Before that he had to deal with the sideshow that was Petrino and pogrom of disinformation (and I'm speaking metaphorically there) along with then lead beat writer Wyche. As bad as it was for the fans and the players; it was hell to cover that jackwad!


saviorfaire
saviorfaire

@slydawg - So if his offense would get any QB hit a lot, how does that bode well for the Falcons? That's what we have now. A QB that gets hit a lot - that will drop at the slightest touch. You don't even need to tackle him, just lunge at him and he folds like a cheap chair. All the more reason that this is a ridiculous hire. This gives the Falcons more of the same (Comfort). We have the most comfortable coaching staff in the league. 

JSSN
JSSN

@TrueFalconFan  I preferred his countdown clock to the Falcons Super Bowl appearance in MetLife!


JSSN
JSSN

@Rrlcc  "But as Thayer saw it, Tice did the best with what he had plus was handcuffed by then-offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s complex offense. "


Well he just contradicted himself right there, Martz Jr. (that is Koetter) hasn't shown that he recognizes that his complexity of scheme contributes mightily to the issues with the offensive line play. Tice didn't develop Christy, Keith Rowan did, he better not claim McDaniel, he'd already been a multi time Pro Bowl (and All-Pro) by the time he showed up in the Twin Cities! That goes for Steussie as well!

gfw
gfw

@ATL89You are RIGHT ON!    1. A GM can't build an OL in one year that will be competitive in our division, especially starting from scratch the way we are (NFL-average Blalock is our only decent lineman).  2. Even if it could be done, DIMITROFF couldn't do it.

Dman
Dman

Why do you have to say this about DLed? I like his articals and think people that only reply with negative comments about the journalist need to come up with better response worth reading. Be nice Falcon63...

reckingball
reckingball

@saviorfaire @slydawg

saviorfaire............If you will read the last 2 sentences of sly's comment, you should see that he is saying that it was a Mike Martz offense, as Martz was the OC, and that Tice was working under Martz. Apparently, Martz's offense schemes left the QB vulnerable.

Also, it would be interesting to see some of the people that bad-mouth Ryan constantly, take some of the hits that he has taken this past season, not to mention prior years.

TrueFalconFan
TrueFalconFan

@JSSN @TrueFalconFan Ha Ha good point!


We'll have to wait until next season - Smitty's time is closing if he can't pull it out in 2014


"Respectfully"!!

JSSN
JSSN

@TrueFalconFan Meanwhile, 4-12, stings, burns, and penicillin doesn't cure that brain eating issue. As for Mummyhead, he's been on the rag since Ledbetter said: "Take that Mummy off your head!"

TrueFalconFan
TrueFalconFan

@MummyHead @JSSN 


If i might jus add tid bit to your comment, lovely JSSn is the cleaner of bed pans & droll, still sucking moms bank account dry...........I suppose i got censored ---- WOW that's funny

JSSN
JSSN

@MummyHead @JSSN Go outside and act like that fool in Chicago who lost half of his exterior male reproductive injection system to frostbite!  

JSSN
JSSN

@MummyHead @JSSN Naw, nothing to hide, say what you mean and stop being the innuendo poster. You already got two clowns on the AJC Sports Blog to go on that side trip!