Mike Tice once coached the Vikings.
Chicago Bears Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice is confident his group will coalesce to protect quarterback Jay Cutler. And President Obama is confident in the American economy. And somewhere, Baghdad Bob insists Iraq is on the verge of victory.
Of course Tice will tell you he loves his offensive line. What's he supposed to say?
The fact is, the Bears took a decent hit when Olin Kreutz walked away. While he may have only had a few years left, he was the center. A former Pro Bowler. And that kind of leadership isn't easily replaced.
The center is an underrated but vital part of the offense. He's the guy who usually identifies the defense and barks out protection schemes. He helps the quarterback recognize blitzes. Oh, and there's the little matter of getting the ball from the ground into the quarterback's hands.
Ruben Brown says that leadership will be "manufactured" in Kreutz's absence. That's like saying romance will be manufactured after your girlfriend leaves you.
No amount of glitz on offense will matter if the line can't hold. To be fair, we don't know if this line can or can't stand up to pressure. But the NFC North has some scary defenses. We'll see how confident Tice is after Jay Cutler ends up on his back a few times.