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Better Know a Jaguars Head Coach: Assistant Coach Mike Tice

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Tice gives President Bush a football jersey in Minneapolis.

Position: TE

Height: 6-7    

Weight: 253 lbs.

Born: February 2, 1959 in Bay Shore, NY

College: Maryland

Coaching in Minnesota

The above link shows all of Tice’s records while coaching for Minnesota.

The following excerpt is from an article I found scouring the web and it delves into detail about the personality and approachability of Coach Tice. It really makes you want to have a beer with the guy at the local pub.

"I am a big, tall, deep-voiced, loud, arrogant New Yorker who thinks he is right all the time. That rubs some people the wrong way. I don't mean anything by it. But I am opinionated."

"Father, forgive me, I'm Catholic and go to church, but my order of priorities are family, church and football," Tice says. "That's maybe why I look at what is going on around here a little differently. Don't get me wrong. Football is very, very important, but there are other things in life I care very deeply about, too."

The entire article is about 4 total pages and I could fill this whole article with quotes, but you might as well read it yourself as it really goes into more detail than most coaching pieces would. It closes with a list about Mike Tice that belongs in a "Highlights" magazine, but is interesting nonetheless.

This is ... Mike Tice.

Favorite TV show: Grilling and Chilling with Bobby Flay

Favorite movie: Cool Hand Luke

Favorite classical music piece: "O Sole Mio" by Andrea Bocelli

Favorite oldie record: "Dancing Queen" by ABBA

Favorite athlete growing up: Dave DeBusschere (see "Favorite non-NFL team")

Favorite meal: Pasta

Favorite non-NFL team: New York Knicks

Favorite actor: Robert DeNiro

Favorite actress: Jamie Lee Curtis

Favorite relaxation: Smoking a cigar

Favorite vacation spot: Seattle

Favorite singer: Dean Martin--P.A.

 The following quotes are pulled from an article way back in 2000 which talks about Mike’s ability provide solid mentorship to both the OL and TE position. He was TE coach in Minnesota in 1996 and was promoted to OL coach where he served from 1997-2001. After leading an incredibly successful and highly lauded OL he was promoted to head coach without any prior coordinator experience (usually common amongst first time coaches). The move spoke to how highly he was regarded in that even with no play calling experience he still landed the head coaching gig in Minnesota.

In three seasons coaching the Vikings offensive line, Mike Tice has guided three players to seven Pro Bowl starts. In his four seasons coaching with the Vikings, the team has compiled a 43-21 (.672) record and has made the playoffs each season.

In 1999, the offensive line made room for Robert Smith to become the second running back in team history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons (the other was Chuck Foreman 1974-76). The Vikings rushed for 175 yards in their playoff win over Dallas (1/9) and helped Smith break a team mark for rushing yards (140) in a playoff game. Leroy Hoard led the club in rushing touchdowns with a career-high 10. With Hoard's 555 yards rushing it was the first time since 1991 the Vikings had two backs go over the 500-yard mark. The Vikings offense finished the 1999 campaign third in the NFL.

In '98, the offensive line paved the way for numerous Vikings records including points in a season (556), which also set a NFL record for touchdown passes (41), total yards (6,264) and fewest sacks allowed in a 16-game season (25). The offensive line cleared the way for Robert Smith to top the 1,000 yard mark for the second consecutive season with 1,187 yards on the ground. The Vikings rushed for over 100 yards in 13-of-the-18 games, including playoffs, and broke the 150-yard barrier in five contests. Three of the five starting offensive linemen (Todd Steussie, Jeff Christy and Randall McDaniel) in the 1999 Pro Bowl were Vikings. They became the first Vikings trio of offensive linemen ever selected to the Pro Bowl, let alone start.

In his first year coaching the offensive line in '97, Tice guided an offensive line that sent two starters to the '98 Pro Bowl, McDaniel and Steussie. The offensive line also enabled Smith to break the team record for rushing yards in a season with 1,266. The Vikings offensive line was a big factor in the squad gaining a first down on 18-of-19 carries on third or fourth down with less than three yards to go in '97. In 10-of-the-16 games, the team rushed for over 100 yards. Tice's offensive line also finished third in the NFC in sacks per pass play (17.4 attempts per sack). Tice helped coach the Vikings into the playoffs for the second straight season in '97 despite having to work with numerous line combinations due to injuries.

Full article

Mike Tice has brought this tenacious physical style with him to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and as a result, our line has performed better than ever, maybe even as well as when Leon Searcy and Tony Boselli roamed the trenches. Our O-line has been playing immaculate football since Tice’s arrival.

The two areas he oversees are TE and OL, and those two areas have improved immensely under his tutelage. We’ve seen George Wrighster become a pass-catching threat and Marcedes Lewis become a blocking force. Neither player had both talents in their repertoire prior to becoming Jags, those are learned skills.

Look at the closing paragrah from the quote above... Having to deal with numerous line injuries will typically de-rail a team's season. However, we see in 1997 that Mike dealt with numerous injuries on his line which shows the depth of his unit. Many back-ups are young in the league, especially when you start getting to 3 or 4 injuries on your starting OL. Those Vikings didn't miss a beat because Tice had instilled disiplined and physical play in his entire unit.

You can’t argue with success, and Tice has been successful everywhere he’s coached. He only had one losing season as the Vike’s head coach. I truly believe that he needed some more experience under someone before getting the head coaching opportunity he got in Minnesota.

One issue that arose in 2005 surrounding Tice was the ticket scalping scam he was involved with. Apparently, he was selling Super Bowl tickets he received each year. What he did was illegal, unethical, and shameful. He was, however, fined, punished, and had his name dragged through the mud, which seems fitting to me.

I believe from what I’ve seen that he truly didn’t think it was a huge deal (even though it amounts to a federal crime because of the fact it carried over multiple states depending on the SB location each year) at the time. He seemed very contrite and I see no reason this issue should be held against him.

Tice has also acknowledged that he scalped Super Bowl tickets as a Vikings assistant coach from 1996-2001, and that he told his assistants this year it was all right for them to sell their Super Bowl tickets to a California ticket agency that he has long dealt with.

Tice acknowledged purchasing 12 Super Bowl tickets from the NFL this year, but he said he did not scalp his entire allotment. Each NFL player and assistant coach has the right to purchase up to two Super Bowl tickets at face value, which this year was $500 and $600 depending on the location of the seat.

According to club sources who have said that Tice was the point man for the scalping operation within the Vikings organization, and has been for years, the tickets scalped by Tice and Dalton this year brought $1,900 each -- a profit of at least $1,300.

Full article

I really like Mike and feel like he deserves to be an NFL coach somewhere in this league. He'll undoubtedly be given the chance again somewhere as the Jags coaching staff is picked apart next off-season. There was already speculation he was in the mix as a possibility for the formerly-vacant Miami Dolphins coaching job, however, as he's been previously known to do, Del Rio MAY HAVE* denied permission.

I'll close with this: Mike is a quality individual who most likely won't be with us much longer. He knows football and players love working with him. He's notorious for his sense of humor and provides great leadership and locker-room presence. He's a player's coach and his style fits right in with Del Rio's. which is why their pairing has been so successful. A run first offense needs a superior offensive line and great blocking tight-ends, that's exactly what Mike Tice brings from a coaching perspective.