With so many new offensive weapons in place, offensive coordinator Mike Tice should be sitting pretty during the time between the end of Bears minicamp and training camp. But even his quarterback knows Tice's job isn't easy. Now Tice has all these shiny, new toys, he has to figure out what to do with them.
"I think he's got probably the hardest job in the building of being able to mesh these offensive players with different schemes," quarterback Jay Cutler said after minicamp practice at Halas Hall. "It's always hard as a first-time coordinator installing your offense and getting it up and running for Game One. He's got a tough gig, but he's doing a great job."
To make life easy on Tice, Grizzly Detail has written up a handy-dandy to-do list for the offensive coordinator. Here's what he needs to help the offense mesh:
-- Listen to what Jeremy Bates has to say on Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall: Cutler's quarterbacks coach from Denver just had a chance to see how Cutler and Marshall have changed since the three were last together. Now he knows what kind of connection the two still have, and how to best use it.
-- Figure out what to do with Devin Hester and Earl Bennett: Marshall being the No. 1 guy with stars and hearts next to his name means the Bears don't need Hester or Bennett to try to make every catch in the game. Tice needs to figure out the best way to use them to score.
-- Prepare for life without Matt Forte: Sure, Lovie Smith and Cutler are confident running back Forte will be at training camp, but what if they're wrong? What if his contract-less existence and absence from training camp extend to training camp or the regular season? Tice has to prepare for those what-ifs. He needs to think about what Michael Bush and Kahlil Bell can bring to the Bears' offense and how to find the yardage Forte brought to every game.
-- Come up with contingency plans for the offensive line: Though Bears general manager Phil Emery gave Tice lots of new stars on offense, he didn't do much to bolster the line. Tice has to get ready for them not to hold, and he has to be ready to fix things on the fly.
-- Add a Kellen Davis plan: A tight end is a terrible thing to waste. Chicago did not use Davis nearly enough in the red zone, despite the fact that he got a touchdown in 80 percent of the times the ball was thrown to him there. Feed him, Coach Tice.
Anything else Tice needs to do? Tell us in the comment section.