Source: Bears' refusal disappoints Tice
Chicago Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice was somewhat disappointed in the team's decision to deny the Tennessee Titans permission to interview him for their vacant offensive coordinator position, an AFC source told ESPNChicago.com's Michael Wright on Tuesday.
Newly hired head coach Mike Munchak fired offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger along with two other assistants last week. Tennessee gave Munchak the freedom to keep or hire anyone he wants. On Tuesday, the Titans announced that they gave the coordinator's job to longtime NFL assistant Chris Palmer.
The source said that while Tice never has been responsible for play-calling duties in the NFL, "going through that process" of talking to the Titans would have been beneficial for Tice. The source added that although he'd rather not have Tice serving as an offensive coordinator in the conference, "Mike would be good because I think he is a heck of a coach."
Tice, a former tight end who played 13 seasons in the NFL, just completed his first season with the Bears and is signed through 2011. He spent the previous three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tice also coached the Minnesota Vikings' offensive line from 1997 until the last game of the 2001 season when he took over as interim coach after Dennis Green was fired. He went 32-33 in five-plus seasons with the Vikings before being let go after the 2005 season.
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The Titans' offense struggled in 2010, ranking 27th in the NFL in total yards per game (302.1) and 25th in yards passing (194.2). Tennessee also ranked last in time of possession, holding the ball just 25 minutes, 54 seconds per game. The Titans were limited by injuries at quarterback, including the season-ending thumb injury to Vince Young on Nov. 21.
The Chicago Tribune first reported the Bears refused the Titans' request.
ESPNChicago.com Bears reporter Michael C. Wright and The Associated Press contributed to this report.