Tice aims to operate fast, potent offense
By: Larry Mayer | Last Updated: 5/12/2012 10:03 AM
In his first season as coordinator, Mike Tice envisions a speedy and explosive Bears offense that’s capable of generating game-changing plays both on the ground and through the air.
“We’re going to play fast and we’re going to make sure the players are able to show us their speed and their explosiveness and their quickness and their toughness up front,” Tice said at this weekend’s rookie minicamp.
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice points during rookie minicamp practice Friday.
“We’re going to make sure that they know what we’re asking them to do, they can go out and play fast, not going on the football field thinking but going on the football field being athletes and athletic. We have some great athletes on offense. We have to put them as coaches in a position to show us and show the fans and show the people that love the Bears their athleticism and their explosiveness.
“We want to be explosive. We want to be able to get the ball down the field. We want to be able to run the ball explosively, and we’re going to do those things.”
Coaches have been working with players in the classroom since April 16 and on the field since April 30. Tice told reporters Friday that the Bears have already installed their entire offense twice.
“When we go to OTA days we’ll go through it for a third time, and when we go to training camp we’ll go through it for a fourth time,” he said. “We’re excited about that process because we’re going to have a large playbook and we’re going to be able to pull from that and draw from that playbook as the season progresses and as we find what the talents of our players are.”
While Tice is working as an offensive coordinator for the first time, he has a vast amount of NFL experience. After a 14-year playing career as a tight end, he’s entering his 16th season as a coach, having previously served as a head coach, assistant head coach and position coach.
Tice said his new role is “not much different” from what he’s done in the past.
“You’re talking about managing people and putting people in position to do their jobs as best they can,” he said. “I’ve been blessed to be a head coach in the league before, so I’ve had to manage people.
“You’re talking about taking a bunch of ideas from a bunch of guys that have a chance to have some input, filtering through that information and putting it together on paper and deciding what the Bears are going to look like based on the talent pool that we have and based on the skills of the players that we have, and that’s what we’re trying to do right now.”
Coach Lovie Smith is confident that Tice will make a very smooth transition.
“It’s just like he’s always been there as far as I’m concerned,” Smith said. “Mike’s been in the league a while. He’s been doing a super job just rallying and organizing our offensive staff, getting them all on the same page. I think you’ll like the look of our offense this year. It helps a lot when you get more weapons, which we’ve done. But I’m really pleased with what the staff has done.”
At this weekend’s rookie minicamp, Tice is especially eager to gauge how second-round receiver Alshon Jeffery and fourth-round tight end Evan Rodriguez perform.
“I was looking forward to seeing how they moved around and how they caught the ball because we already have plans for them and how we’re going to utilize them in the beginning,” Tice said.
“We’re trying to find a ruby too. If we can find ourselves a ruby, somebody that we can polish up and turn into a nice shiny stone, that wouldn’t be a bad thing either. We’re looking for that also.”