On Tuesday night, reports indicated that former Vikings head coach Mike Tice would be returning to the NFL as the offensive line coach in Atlanta.
The Falcons confirmed those reports on Wednesday when they announced Tice will be joining head coach Mike Smith’s staff for the 2014 season. There’s no word from the team about details of the deal, but Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports that it will be a two-year deal.
Tice was out of the league in 2013 after leaving his post as the Bears’ offensive coordinator as Chicago cleaned out their coaching staff with the arrival of new head coach Marc Trestman. He was the offensive line coach in Chciago for two years before moving to the coordinator job and worked with Smith and Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter in Jacksonville before that.
The Falcons have made no secret of their intention to improve on the offensive line this offseason. Firing position coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn was followed by owner Arthur Blank’s vow to put together a tougher team before the start of next season, which makes it easy for Tice to know what he needs to do once he’s on the job.
Of course, there’s only so much Tice can do with the raw materials on hand and the Falcons will need to bring in better players in addition to a new coach to see the kind of improvement they want to see up front.