The Chicago Bears Friday promoted Mike Tice to offensive coordinator, moving him up from the offensive line coach he had held for nearly two years.
Tice, who was the head coach at Minnesota and the assistant head coach for offense at Jacksonville, is the right man for the job.
He knows the players' strengths and weaknesses well, has experience calling plays, and helped the offensive line progress from last season's disaster. He played as a quarterback and a tight end, and also has coached the line and tight ends, giving him a broad understanding of the offense.
But none of that guarantees the Bears offensive success, because they will still have the same personnel problems. They'll still have a quarterback with a cannon arm but no number one receiver to throw it to. There still will be tight ends who are better blockers than receivers, brought in to work in Mike Martz's now-departed system. There will still be a giant question mark at left tackle, as J'Marcus Webb has struggled in that key position.
Tice's elevation can worsen those issues at offensive line. Though the Bears improved from last year, allowing fewer sacks and more rushing yards, Tice won't be able to spend as much time with the line when he's responsible for the entire offense. What will happen to the progress the line has made so far?
So yes. Bears fans should be happy about Tice's new role as offensive coordinator, but don't forget that Martz left quite a mess. Not even a man of Tice's 6-foot-7 stature can clean it up alone.