Questions for whoever is calling the plays (and I do believe that person is TICE),
Originally Posted by Riczaj01
What happened to the roll outs and bootlegs?
"""""""""""""""""""" Play actions?
How come we can't run a decent screen more than once every three weeks?
Why is the run game so repetitive and predictable?
Do you still believe that Hester is a flanker and capable of making the catches so required?
Why has Bush not seen more touches?
Earl Bennett...name ring a bell?
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Don't worry. Once Tice rolls out the awesome "Hester Package" we'll have the greatest offense in the history of the NFL.
It's going to epic. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it at night.
I've said a lot of shit in the past two days about this menacing situation that has been brewing with the Bears for the past five years and that seems to have come to a head.
Lovie Smith is a coach who could be the next Bill Cowher in terms of longevity and consistently keeping us competitive. However, he has his faults, and one of them is his inflexibility with relation to adjusting his personnel strategy for both players and coaches. I have to admit that I commended Lovie for having a "come to Jesus meeting" with Martz in 2010 and 2011 and, ultimately, for dismissing Martz from his position as offensive coordinator after last year's bullshit finish. Despite being woefully thin at the quarterback position, we still had a chance to finish 10-6 and earn a berth in the playoffs had Martz not gone back to his old methods of the seven step drops. His strategy, forged out of arrogance and outright defiance and negligence to his quarterbacks that replaced Cutler last year, led to his ouster. In this instance, Lovie made the right move, even if it meant getting rid of his old boss.
Now we're into this season, and we find ourselves in much the same position as we were in last year when we were 7-3 (which we are now). We have had two really bad games against quality opponents who had shown signs of weakness in prior weeks against inferior opponents, yet we could do nothing to score against them, scoring just 13 points in two games. I will let the defense off the hook for the loss to the 49ers as they were due a bad game, but the offense has only had three solid games this season, against Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and against Tennessee. In those games, the offense scored at least 27 points. In no other game this season has the offense put up more than 20 points, and that's really sad considering the first two thirds of the season saw us playing mainly bottom feeders from around the league. The offense is ranked 30th overall, with the passing attack ranked dead last in the league. That is clearly unacceptable when you consider that you have Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Matt Forte, and Michael Bush all capable of making the Pro Bowl when healthy. Somehow, we've regressed as an offense even from last season. It's time to figure out what is going on and to do so without delay.
I'll give you my two cents on what is wrong. First of all, the onus of all of this rests squarely on the shoulders of Mike Tice, and this goes back to 2010, when he was hired to be our offensive line coach. Tice got the job squarely on the fact that he managed to put together a really solid Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line that produced a power running game behind the legs of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, coupled with a quarterback in David Garrard who managed the game brilliantly and was athletic enough to make plays with his legs, further adding to the threat of the power run. He had the personnel to get this right for the Jags, and Jacksonville therefore became a major threat offensively, particularly in the ground game. Before he was coaching in Jacksonville, Tice was the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, and the team's model for success was based around finishing in the top five in the league in rushing yards and of course, the infamous "Randy Ratio." He had a very strong offensive line in Minnesota, and had a very good quarterback in Dante Culpepper who had an absolute cannon for an arm. However, several scandals ("The Love Boat Scandal") and his failure to win big despite the talent he had didn't sit well with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, and he was fired at the end of the 2005 season despite making the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
Now we get to the good part of my description of the situation. Tice was hired by the Bears in 2010 to be the offensive line coach, with the thinking in mind that this line of castaways and low draft picks could be made into competent, cohesive unit after it struggled to giving up 37 sacks in 2009 in what was a losing season for the Bears. Instead of instant success like he experienced in Jacksonville, Tice experienced abject failure. His offensive line in 2010 gave up a league high 56 sacks and the offense as a result only averaged putting up about 299 yards of total offense a game, or about 199 yards passing and 100 yards rushing that year. Despite that, he managed to patch work the line to where it was serviceable toward the end of the season, and the Bears managed to make it all the way to the NFC Championship Game, where they would lose the rubber match in the three games between the Packers that year and thus fall short of their goals of making it to the Super Bowl. In 2011, Tice vowed to continue improving the line, moving J'Marcus Webb to LT and pleaded his case to then-GM Jerry Angelo to draft Gabe Carimi late in the first round, which the Bears did. Carimi went down with a dislocated knee during the Saints, and once again, like he had done most of the first half of the previous year, Tice resorted to musical chairs in order to find a best fit for his shorthanded line now that their first round RT was lost for what turned out to be the entire year. Through the first 10 games, the Bears managed to skate by by only giving up 21 sacks. However, when Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and LG Chris Williams sustain season-ending injuries, the line fell apart. The replacement quarterbacks Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown were not as mobile in the pocket as Cutler, and the line would surrender 25 sacks, which ultimately cost the Bears a shot at making a return trip to the playoffs. Part of the blame was on Martz for reverting back to his seven-step drops that didn't work either in 2010 or in 2011 due to the line being in too fragile a state to work as a solid unit. Yet people saw something worthwhile in Tice, who had for the past two years the lowest ranked offensive line in the NFL, and upon Mike Martz's dismissal in January 2012 as well as the firing of then-GM Jerry Angelo, Tice was promoted to offensive coordinator. He promised the Bears' top brass and the fans that he would coach his offense in such a way that it would play to its strengths, that he would run the football more like the offense did in 2011 when it rushed for over 2,000 yards for just the second time since 1990 and finished eighth in the league in rushing, and that he would allow Cutler to be creative and audible, as well as have full rein over his mobility in the pocket in terms of roll outs, designed QB draws, etc.
Instead of the promises that Mike Tice made, the Bears went back to an offensive strategy that is more conducive to what the Bears ran 25 years ago when the offense struggled to put up 20 points a game under Ed Hughes. The Bears, while currently in the top 10 in rushing in the NFL, don't run the football nearly as much as they should in order to get the most out of this limited offensive line. Cutler has been given very little opportunity to call a playaction pass on occasion to catch the defense napping and therefore there haven't been as many explosive plays down field that Tice promised the world there would be. Also, since Tice no longer has sole responsibilities with coaching the offensive line, the offensive line is the worst it has been since he's been associated with the Bears. In essence, Cutler is being castrated to the point where he has no time to throw, no place to go but down, and the opposing defenses simply shut down the running game by stacking eight or nine guys in the box by some time in the second half. To make matters worse, Tice does not call enough plays whereby Forte runs the ball off-tackle and to the outside, nor does he call on Bush's number nearly as often as he should to batter the opposing defensive front seven with runs between the tackles. The first halves to games are marred with abject ineptitude on the part of the offense despite many times the offense dominating the time of possession.
Now that we know the background of Mike Tice going back as far as his days as head coach for the Minnesota Vikings, there are a few things that I would like to offer to the gentlemen of the board that might explain why he has been so inept at playcalling and scheming:
1) Tice is resting on his laurels from his successes on offense in Minnesota and Jacksonville and is therefore showing signs of total and complete complacency. However, it is imperative to note that he never was given the title of offensive coordinator prior to his assistant coaching job in Chicago.
2) Tice is not mentally creative enough to create or manifest an exotic passing scheme. Originally, the idea was for QB coach Jeremy Bates to handle the passing game while Tice dealt with the ground game and blocking schemes. Instead, Tice handles virtually all the playcalling, and as was stated at the beginning of reason number two, he simply isn't up to the task as an offensive playcaller of calling creative pass schemes. Part of this is because the offensive line has suffered since Tice no longer is technically responsible for the development of said players (that responsibility belongs to Tim Holt now).
3) Tice has failed to run the football with any degree of consistency. He took the position of offensive coordinator based on the platform of producing a down field, explosive offense in the passing game. He lobbied to Phil Emery to get him two tall receivers who can run good, clean routes, which he got in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but then he failed to take into consideration that Devin Hester is not an every-down WR, and thus his infamously-named "Hester Package" never came to fruition other than in the form of him serving as a flanker while Jeffery was out injured rather than working him in as the fourth receiver in the slot spot. Tice has been so worried about trying to fit all of these plans into motion in the passing game that he often fails to take into consideration that the longtime staple of Bears football that has almost always worked, the running game, is the true strength of this offense as the offensive line is very much adequate at run blocking.
4) Nobody has seriously stepped up to Tice -- not Lovie, not Emery -- and told him that he needs to change his ways or give up his playcalling duties.
That, in a nutshell, describes the situation we're in with Tice. I can sit here all day and call on Lovie Smith and Phil Emery to make a change in who does the playcalling (i.e. - promote Jeremy Bates to OC or at least elevate him to principal offensive playcaller while Tice goes back to working with the offensive line almost to exclusion of all other things), but that will do me no good, as it will do no other yahoo on these boards to do the same in kind. It's kind of like the novel Waiting for Godot: you sit around waiting for him to come around, but he never comes.
Last edited by Dagan81; 11-22-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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