After a 2013 season that fell far short of expectations, the Atlanta Falcons fired offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn at season’s end.
Now the Falcons have apparently made their first hire to replace the departed line coaches.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the Falcons will hire former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator and Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice as their new offensive line coach.
Tice did not coach in the league this season after being let go by the Bears along with the rest of Lovie Smith’s staff after the 2012 season.
Tice was an offensive line coach in Chicago for two seasons before taking on the offensive coordinator role in his final year with the Bears. However, Chicago’s offensive line frequently seemed to struggle to protect Jay Cutler during Tice’s tenure. Cutler was sacked 52 times in 15 games in Tice’s first season in Chicago, 23 times in 2011 in 10 games and 38 times in 2012 in 15 games.
Tice and Falcons head coach Mike Smith served together for two seasons on Jack Del Rio’s coaching staff with the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2006-2007. Tice served as the assistant head coach while Smith was the defensive coordinator.