Where do you stand on the Mike Tice hire?

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.)

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 until becoming the Falcons head coach in 2008.

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?



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


D. Orlando Ledbetter, an award-winning journalist, is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's beat writer for the Atlanta Falcons.

Posted in Uncategorized
7 comments on “Where do you stand on the Mike Tice hire?
  1. cowboys67 says:

    Not impressed they couldnt wait to see what happened with Mike Munchak who was a heck off a OL coach

  2. As you provide ample evidence, DOL, this is a horrible hire by Mike Smith. And if this is the kind of guy Smith wants to hire, then he thoroughly deserves to be fired.

    Some of us believe he should have been fired already. There is plenty of evidence to show the Falcons will never win a Super Bowl with the play-not-to-lose coaching philosophy of Mike Smith leading the way in Flowery Branch, so why continue with him in the first place?

    Getting rid of Smith next year, after Mike Zimmer is hired in Detroit and takes Hue Jackson with him as his OC this year, is going to be a major mistake, one of the most preventable that Blank’s ever made.

    You can win a Super Bowl with Mike Smith. So why keep him? It’s the same problem at Georgia. We’re never going to win a national title with Mark Richt, who refuses to pay attention to detail and fix the same issues that have plagued his teams since he took over as head coach.

    Why keep coaches like that? Simply being good is not good enough if your preferred end result is winning rings.

    Nothing Mike Smith has ever shown us proves he’s even capable of winning a ring. The only coach in NFL history to see his team give up TWO CONSECUTIVE second-hald three score leads in the playoffs.

    Blank had a chance to get rid of Smith and his play-not-to-lose ways this year, and when next year’s 8-8 or 9-7 season roles around, he will wish he pulled the trigger this year.

    • RAY says:


  3. Ricky says:

    Some are posting “great hire” on twitter. I’m not sure. Those numbers are definitely troubling. Doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade at all.

  4. Everett says:

    Time will definitely tell on this one. Smith’s career is on the line, so if he doesn’t get this right, it’s curtains for him. Is this the best hire? No.

  5. […] results in Chicago during his last stint as a OL Coach (’10-’11) weren’t exactly pretty (as D. Orlando Ledbetter points out) — the Bears surrendered 45 and […]

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