8:28 AM CST, January 18, 2012
If Mike Tice leaves to coach the Oakland Raiders,the Bears would have all kinds of bad news.
Or, looking at it another way, the Bears would have all kinds of typical Bears news.
The Bears thought they were looking for just a passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach to fill out the group that Tice would head as offensive coordinator. It was --- is for now --- Tice’s group because the Bears were trying to minimize the post-Mike Martz mess.
By promoting Tice, the Bears had eliminated a loon as offensive coordinator. They had cut down the size of the playbook so it could be carried through the front door of Halas Hall instead of the annual airdrop. They retained a play-caller who was familiar with the language of the scheme and at the same time retained a play-caller unlikely to evoke familiar potty-mouth language from Jay Cutler.
Maybe most critical to the process, Tice’s promotion meant Cutler would work with an offensive coordinator who knew what the quarterback did best and what he wanted to do, as well as what the rest of the offensive personnel couldn’t not execute.
But if former Packer Reggie McKenzie, the new general manager in Oakland, makes Tice a former Bear, this becomes messy, even for a Bears franchise familiar with stupid and laughable situations.
For starters, you’d have Lovie Smith picking out a new offensive coordinator. How has that worked out for everyone? From Terry Shea to Martz, that’s some legacy.
Smith has gone through assistant coaches as if he was on commission. You’d think he would’ve gotten it right by now. Maybe he has with Tice, which might explain some of why Oakland wants to talk to him, which explains why anyone with a brain would be afraid of Smith pressing his luck.
I mean, he has enough trouble getting the OC position right once every couple years, and now you think he could go 2-for-2 in the same month?
Yes. Right. Seek professional help.
Tice’s exit also would require the Bears to hire a new offensive line coach. Actually, they need a new offensive line, and so, if there was anybody critical to Cutler’s not dying, it would be the guy calling protections based on two years of knowing what the linemen could not do, which includes but is not limited to almost everything Martz called.
All of which makes the search for a passing game coordinator worth a smirk, huh?
Not that there aren’t good candidates out there, but who would come to this screwed-up situation where Smith’s contract is as short on years as Bears management is short on smarts?
The last time Smith went looking for coordinators with little time left on his deal, the Bears got embarrassed as candidates turned down interviews or flat blew them off. Smith seemed to have no choice but to dump more responsibility on Rod Marinelli and bring in Martz because he was the last guy at the dance, it seemed.
That was part of the reason Smith promoted Tice seemingly before Martz hit the Tri-State. If that’s the profile for minimizing regular Bears messes, would Smith promote, say, Darryl Drake from wide receivers coach? Do you trust the judgment of a guy who went along with the gag that Devin Hester is a No. 1 receiver?
Maybe Smith could make Cutler the offensive coordinator the way the McCaskeys foolishly endorsed making Smith the de facto general manager.
Understand, this would be far less of an issue for the Bears if they knew how to run a general manager search --- geez, if they even knew what a general manager did.
If this was being run from the top down the way chairman George McCaskey claimed but failed to execute, you’d expect the coaching staff to be looking elsewhere because the new GM would bring in his own coach, who would bring in his own staff. This is a revolutionary concept for the Bears, sort of like a game-breaking wide receiver.
But the Bears are the Bears. There’s no situation with a conventional blue print that they can’t turn into another laughable example, such as the self-inflicted obstacles of mandating the new so-called GM retain the head coach and giving the head coach input in the process. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
So, the Bears are interviewing fake GM candidates whose expertise is the draft. The first guy they interviewed, New England’s director of pro personnel Jason Licht, has never had a seat in the Patriots’ draft room.
Yes. Of course. That’s exactly the kind of guy you’d bet the Bears would talk to.
Attention, Bears: Being in the draft room is not some ceremonial thing. The draft room is where decisions are actually made. It’s where futures are made. It’s where you ensure you don’t miss the playoffs four out of five years.
But Licht’s table wasn’t ready. Except in a meeting with the Bears. Maybe they figure Licht has the ability to divine Bill Belichick’s thoughts.
Or maybe the Bears don’t understand the concept.
Maybe the Bears don’t understand a lot of things.
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