The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have agreed to terms with Mike Tice to become the team’s offensive line coach.
Tice brings 17 years of NFL coaching experience to the Falcons, including seven seasons as an offensive line coach. He last coached in Chicago serving as the Bears offensive line coach for two seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2012. In 2011, Chicago's offensive line helped the Bears produce 2,015 rushing yards, which was the second time the club has eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards in the last 22 seasons. Additionally, the Bears 4.4 yards per carry was the franchise’s highest single-season mark since 1990.
Prior to joining the Bears, Tice spent the previous four seasons in Jacksonville (2006-09) as the Jaguars assistant head coach. He also served as Jacksonville’s tight ends coach for his last three years with the club. Tice worked with Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith for his first two seasons with the Jaguars, when the club’s rushing attack had two of the most productive seasons in team history, gaining 2,541 yards in 2006 and 2,391 yards in 2007, first and third respectively in team annals. He also worked with Falcons Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter for three seasons in Jacksonville, including 2007 when the Jaguars set franchise records in for points (411), yards per play (5.6), and touchdowns (50) in en route to the AFC Divisional Playoff round.
Before landing in Jacksonville, Tice spent 14 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings as a player and coach. He played for the Vikings for three seasons (1992-93 & ’95) and joined the coaching staff as tight ends coach in 1996. He served as the Vikings offensive line coach from 1997-2001 before being promoted to interim head coach for the final game of the 2001 season. In four-plus seasons as the Vikings head coach, Tice compiled a 32-33 (.492) record with a 1-1 mark in the playoffs.
As an offensive line coach, Tice instructed five different players C Matt Birk, C Jeff Christy, G Randall McDaniel, G/T Todd Steussie, and T Korey Stringer to a combined 10 Pro Bowl appearances. In 1998, when the Vikings scored a then NFL-record 556 points, three Minnesota offensive linemen were named Pro Bowl starters.