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Bears Analyst: Tice Brings Edge To Falcons


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http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/3386/bears-analyst-tice-brings-edge-to-falcons#comments

Bears analyst: Tice brings edge to Falcons

Tom Thayer knows a thing or two about offensive line play.

The Chicago Bears play-by-play analyst was the starting right guard on the Bears’ 1985 Super Bowl champion team. And Thayer’s brother-in-law is John Scully, who played on the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line for nine seasons.

So naturally, Thayer has strong opinions when it comes to offensive line play. He watched new Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice perform the same role for the Bears during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

"The toughest rooms on a team better be the offensive and defensive linemen, and that’s what I think Tice brings to the room,’’ Thayer said. "He brings structure, all levels of success with his background of being a quarterback then a tight end then an offensive lineman-type of guy. He brings a lot to the package. He brings a great a deal of experience. His years in the NFC North/Central or whatever you want to call it is good for the Atlanta Falcons.’’

Tice coached with the Minnesota Vikings from 1996-2005, starting as the tight ends coach and then serving as the team’s head coach from 2002-05. Although he had a Hall of Fame lineman on his team in Randall McDaniel, he only took credit for developing Pro Bowl linemen Jeff Christy, Matt Birk, Todd Steussie, and Korey Stringer while in Minnesota.

In Chicago, Tice’s offensive line contributed to surrendering a league-high 56 sacks in 2010 and followed with 49 sacks allowed the next season (tied for fifth most). 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.

"You look at the offensive line that the Bears have the year after Tice leaves and there’s no one still there (except ex-Falcon Roberto Garza),’’ Thayer said. "That tells me that he was trying to hold together duct tape, masking tape-talent with an archaic-style offense. It was going to be really hard to succeed given the talent. I think in some terms, the Bears are probably fortunate that they had him at such a moment of weaknesses, personnel-wise.’’

In Chicago, Tice had two first-round flops in Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams and two seventh-round picks as starters in Lance Louis and J’Marcus Webb. None of the four are still with the team, although Louis grew tremendously under Tice before suffering an ACL tear.

On paper, Tice doesn’t have much to work with in Atlanta, either, after the line contributed to quarterback Matt Ryan being sacked a career-high 44 times and contributed to the running game ranking last in the league this past season. But the Falcons seem destined to upgrade at least a few spots along the line, with Justin Blalock and Sam Baker -- if healthy -- likely the only players assured roles in 2014.

Whatever group Tice has to work with, Thayer expects him to make a difference.

"When you play for a guy who has played, he kind of tells you different positions to be in before you ever experience them because that’s how the play is going to kind of work its way out,’’ Thayer explained. "As you come out of your stance to pull, you know what you’re looking for with your first step rather than waiting to get there. It’s all those types of things that he can reiterate to these guys because he's seen them 1,000 times from a stance. That’s the good part of Mike.’’

Plus Tice's ability to instill toughness can’t be overstated.

"You’ve got be edgy,’’ Thayer said. "Tell me what great player doesn’t live on the edge? Mike kind of brings that Type-A personality to the room, which you really need.

"(Mike) Ditka always used to say, `It’s not a right to play in the NFL; it’s a privilege.’ And I think that’s a part of living on the edge. Every guy who lives on the edge, ultimately they want to succeed. And that’s why a guy like Mike Tice lives on the edge.’’

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Guest facelessman07

I just hope he's as good as the other coaches were as far as training our linemen to play virtually every position on offense

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baker and the #6 pick should settle in as our long term tackles, or at least for the next 2-3 years. a healthy baker is solid, not a probowler, but solid. we all know blalock is the rock of our line. I think reynolds and hawley have potential, but i didn't see either of them progress under pat hill. they need to improve, but I think they both have the potential to be good starters for us if tice can coach em up.

now we need to address the DT position and pass rush

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enjoyed the aricle. He needs players though. Right now, all Tice has is Blalock. I do believe he is an upgrade over Pat Hill, but in fairness to Hill, Dimitroff gave him garbage to work with.

This. Hill was a scapegoat as I remember analysts and fans alike proclaiming the exact same thing when we got Hill, so... yeah.

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Give Tice a big nast like G. Robinson and see what he can do with him. Bring in Asomoah for RG as well, and let him do his magic.

LT - Baker, Robinson or Holmes

LG - Blalock or Konz

OC - Hawley or Konz

RG - Asomoah

RT - Baker, Robinson or Schraeder

some healthy competition across the board....may the best 5 win!

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enjoyed the aricle. He needs players though. Right now, all Tice has is Blalock. I do believe he is an upgrade over Pat Hill, but in fairness to Hill, Dimitroff gave him garbage to work with.

I agree our best OL is a Guard that can't run block, maybe Tice can help with that and Blalock can earn what he's getting paid

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enjoyed the aricle. He needs players though. Right now, all Tice has is Blalock. I do believe he is an upgrade over Pat Hill, but in fairness to Hill, Dimitroff gave him garbage to work with.

Hill couldn't get anything out of them. Namely toughness. I see the talent in some of the guys but as I always say we lacked mean n nasty. Which is the same as playing in the edge. Tice was good at getting guys to play tougher. He may be able to pull that out of one or two of them. IF they have the right attitude.

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Hill couldn't get anything out of them. Namely toughness. I see the talent in some of the guys but as I always say we lacked mean n nasty. Which is the same as playing in the edge. Tice was good at getting guys to play tougher. He may be able to pull that out of one or two of them. IF they have the right attitude.

it did seem like alot of the pressure came from guys not knowing who to block instead of guys simply getting beat one on one every time. I'm no oline expert. I actually don't no sh*t lol but it came off as more mental and technique errors from certain guys instead of simply not having the talent.....well except Reynolds, that guy is donkey kong crap lol
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it did seem like alot of the pressure came from guys not knowing who to block instead of guys simply getting beat one on one every time. I'm no oline expert. I actually don't no sh*t lol but it came off as more mental and technique errors from certain guys instead of simply not having the talent.....well except Reynolds, that guy is donkey kong crap lol

Yea it's definitely some talent there. It just wasn't sound and mentally on point. Plenty fixable things went on from bad footwork to technique. Holmes has the talent and athleticism. No good technique and terrible footwork and loss of leverage and slow off the ball at times. All fixable. It's amazing what good fundamentals and sound technique and discipline can bring out of a player. Konz issue is all technique and footwork. Leverage too. If Tice can get that together and get them to play with attitude and toughness the line can be better. We'll still take some guys in the draft too.

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We have no idea how he'll work out here with our OL, but I like his experience and I love the toughness this coach will bring to the team. If we have one overall losing trait, it's being way too soft and passive. I hope we get a helluva lot more Type-A personalities on this staff and this roster.

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TD better let Tice make the selection on linemen in the draft. I would have made that a condition of my employment if I were Tice looking at that clown's track record of drafting linemen

Why do you say that? Do you think Tice drafts good OL? (Hint: All the OL drafted while he was HC of Minnesota have completely busted out except 1st Rounder Bryan McKinnie.)

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Why do you say that? Do you think Tice drafts good OL? (Hint: All the OL drafted while he was HC of Minnesota have completely busted out except 1st Rounder Bryan McKinnie.)

At 6 we know who the best behemoths will be. If they bust then they would have certainly been busts by another team as well. The odds are better with our draft position.

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I like the type A personality but other than that.....he lived in a real world and the same world we live in which means his QB has his Azz handed to him when the talent wasn't there. That's our problem....TD can't find OLs or has not invested in them. The same goes for the DL. How Many OL and DL coaches have been fired since Smitty and TD got here?????

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