Serious idea: Hire Mike Tice to Consult.

Submitted by stephenrjking on October 14th, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Of all the issues afflicting this year's team, the largest is clearly the offensive line. All of our complaints about coaching reduce to how we think the coaches should respond to the fact that the OL is a dumpster fire. If the line were good, Michigan would be undefeated, the wins against Akron and UConn would've been comfortable, and we would be happy right now. So what to do? I suggest (because I'm sure that DB and BH were just waiting to read a blog post an idea like this) that Michigan hire Mike Tice as a consultant for the rest of the year. Tice is not working right now, but was most recently the OL coach for the Bears and of course has head coaching experience with the Vikings. Michigan's offensive line is terrible, and most of us think Funk should be fired, but that isn't realistic mod-season. Still, they could use another set of eyes to see how the line is playing and perhaps help with a few mid-course corrections, and Tice would be terrific for that. So he has the expertise and the need is there. But, importantly, he does not threaten anyone's job--he's an NFL guy and nobody should have to worry about him moving into Brady's office. It would be safe to assume that he will bolt for the NFL ASAP--and that's okay. For the rest of this season he can offer Michigan's OL some much needed help, and offer the staff a different perspective. Brady and Brandon should look into this move or one like it. There's still a bye coming. Something needs to change.



October 14th, 2013 at 3:45 PM ^

Hoke thinks the OL coaching is fine and that talent is there, but the talent is young.

I'm inclined to believe him over speculation of MGoBloggers. He is not wrong that the talent is there and incredibly young. If you look at the lines of, say, Wisconsin or Alabama you'll find that their lines are mostly juniors and seniors with a sprinkling of sophomores. Michigan broke in an entirely new interior line and recently switched the interior line. They are young and they are inexperienced, they will not be an elite line until probably 2015. We've recruited heavily there because of a disastrous 2010 class which saw no OL taken and has seen tons of attrition.

Now, on the other hand, Funk should be able to take a young Big Ten line and dominate the likes of Akron and UConn, so while I'm not sure about all the 'Fire X' comments I do think Funk's seat is the warmest of all of the staff.

Brown Bear

October 14th, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

As a Bears fan I say NO NO NO to this idea. HIs o-lines were horrendous, couldn't develop young talent and kept shuffling the same crap line out there each week, never shook it up when they failed miserably. Cutler is lucky to be alive after Tice's tenure in chicago. NO NO NO!!!


October 14th, 2013 at 1:57 PM ^

Sounds like a great idea to me. We need an impartial set of eyes to evaluate things NOW. Someone unafraid to be honest/hurt feelings.


October 14th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

Tice doesn't exactly have the track record of a guy that builds offensive lines.  It would  probably make more sense to hire a former Wiconsin or Denver Broncos assistant than Tice.

Mr. Rager

October 14th, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

Tice could have gone into a Gary Busey-esque spiral over the last couple of years and I'd still hire him, in a cocaine heartbeat, to replace Funk.  Right.  Now.  


October 14th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

I like Tice a lot. He played TE for the Gibbs era Redskins that knew a little something about power running too. But are there any other connections except for Tice working with Hoke's brother the last couple years? I'm sure Hoke knows a lot of guys that could come in and offer the same advice Tice could.

Hoke said in his presser today he has a great o-line coach. I know Hoke wouldn't throw Funk under the bus but to go as far as to call him great, I don't think Hoke is considering bringing in anyone to step on Funks toes.

I am not calling for Funks head. Its been ugly. But I am not there in meetings, film sessions and practice to know what kind of job he's doing. The players and recruits really seem to like him too.

But if we are throwing out names I'll play too. I know he is still employed by the Ravens and has quite the DUI history I would welcome Andy Moeller back with open arms.  Since Juan Castillo became the run game coordinator and o-line coach and Moeller became assistant OL coach the Ravens run game has gotten worse and worse.


October 14th, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

If Hoke honestly believes that he has a great o-line coach, it is far more likely that we will go through another full purge in 3-4 years after the bloom of the 2011 season and the "This is Michigan" speeches wear off.  Hoke is admittedly a CEO, great recruiter, face of the program type coach.  If he cannot surround himself with quality coordinaters and position coaches, we are doomed.  Hopefully he is just saying this to keep the public and his team calm, but if he and Brandon cannot see that they have a Greg Robinson/Tony Gibson level problem on one side of the ball, we should expect 2010 type results going forward (with a slight adjustment for better recruiting, until those recruits realize they will be wasted if they are being coached by Borges and Funk). 


October 14th, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

Most of that was due to the terrible o-line Tice was dealing with and Martz insisting on 7 step drops and deep vertical passing game.

When Tice took over as OC the sack problem got a little bit better. Still bad but not as ugly as it was.

One thing they could do though was run the ball. They didn't always stick with the run game but they had success when they did.


October 14th, 2013 at 2:15 PM ^

How would this work with the limitations on number of total coaches?  Does that only apply to coaches who actually interact with the players?


October 14th, 2013 at 2:22 PM ^

Consultants are valuable when there is a very distinct piece of work, that relies on a neutral perspective (this rarely happens, because usually the guy writing the check influences the consultant, but I digress).

Michigan has serious offensive issues and nobody knows why for sure (some blame Funk, others blame Borges, and even others guys like Coach Heck or Jackson). Hoke seems way too loyal to fire anybody, so a consultant can help Michigan evaluate the coaching staff.


October 14th, 2013 at 2:19 PM ^

Tice completely bombed in Chicago. He couldn't put together an NFL quality offensive line, and he could not develop talent. He misevaluated the talent of J'marcus Webb and couldn't develop first round talent like Carimi and Chris Williams.


October 14th, 2013 at 2:37 PM ^

Funny you bring this up. Im a bears fan, and I've thought multiple times that our O-line looks exactly like the Bear's over the last few seasons - every run play, before the RB even gets the ball is like 2 guys have been pushed back a yard, and everyone else is in slow motion.. Tice was brought in to help the bears out, and really didnt do too bad (I know cutler got sacked a million times, but thats more because our first round pick Gabe Carimi ended up being a huge bust).

Big Brown Jug

October 14th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

I watched Tice coach the Vikings to a 32-33 record despite some of the best offensive talent the NFL has ever seen.  A few years later I watched Jay Cutler get sacked 9 times by the Giants on a Monday night.  This is a silly idea.


October 14th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

Firing your OL coach mid way through the season never works.....

(so they also had a little bit of luck with two teams with better records couldn't play for the championship)


October 14th, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

Well this would be a good idea if we plan to replace the entire staff, but considering we have a head coach who is is a bonified Oline/Dline coach, making 2.6 million a year we should never need a seperate set of eyes. This team is simply just not living up and its up to this staff and most importantly the man at the top to right the ship rather then shit the bed against sub par Big Ten competition. Ultimately I think the staff has this figured out and will continue to develop this team, but once again I find myself reaching for next year. Dear god let us find a way to beat Ohio. This will heal everything for me. I cant stand watching Urban use tress's players the same way he did zooks at florida. Urban will faulter and the climb you see our staff making will eventually pay off.


October 15th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

VT's offense has not looked that great this year.  Bud Foster has been awesome as usual and that's really the only reason they are winning games.  Granted this is only his first year at VT.  He did do a good job at Temple the only place he had time to establish his system.  

I just don't think Michigan should have to hire guys that may or may not be that great.  We should have the ability to hire a proven commodity.  Borges is one of the highest paid assistants in the country and for that kind of money we should be getting upper eschelon coaches.  Essentially the best money can buy because we are paying some of the highest assistant salaries.  

Borges has just not lived up to that level of playcalling and performance I don't want to get another guy in hear that does essentially the same thing and ruins continuity in the process.

Ty Butterfield

October 14th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

I agree that some sort of change needs to be made. However, nothing is going to happen during the season. There is also a good chance that nothing changes in the off season. Hoke seems to be as stubborn as RR regarding his assistant coaches. I really hope I am wrong.

I Blue Myself

October 14th, 2013 at 3:50 PM ^

1. No one here knows what Brady Hoke actually thinks about the talent or coaching on the OL.  He's made public comments standing behind them, because that's the right thing and smart thing to do when you're stuck with the people you have, which he is.

2. The comparisons with Wisconsin are not helpful. Wisconsin had great OLs for years.  Then they brought in a new coach who tried doing things differently and had terrible results.  So Bielema fired him, went back to the old way of doing things, and the OL went back to Wisconsin's usual standards.  Not really applicable to Michigan's situation.

3. Aren't there NCAA rules about the number of coaches you can have?  You say Tice would be a consultant, but what would that mean?  What can a consultant do without crossing the line to being an illegal extra coach?  This is an honest question.  If you could just bring in lots of "consultants" and have them be almost like coaches, Alabama would have12 consultants on staff.


October 14th, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

I would add that nobody knows what Dave Brandon has said to Coach Hoke - and vice versa. Regardless of one's opinions of Brandon's executive style, he's not a laissez-faire AD. When he sees what he perceives is even a small problem, he doesn't just accept the first pat (or public) explanation from his coaches and then sing the Fight Song until everyone feels better. He's incredibly engaged - especially in the football program (was on the sideline of this game) and is hyper brand-conscious. If he thinks the course of action by this staff is not the best plan given all the data, I have a hard time imagining he'll be silent very long about it. At least behind closed doors.