The Falcons have reached a two-year deal with Mike Tice to become their offensive line coach on Tuesday, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
The failure of both offensive and defensive lines contributed heavily to the Falcons’ descent from Super Bowl contender to finishing tied for last place in the NFC South. Offensive line coaches Pat Hill and Paul Dunn were terminated along with defensive line coach Ray Hamilton.
“I think that (Smith) is looking for coaches that reflect his intensity,”owner Arthur Blank said. “Smitty is a very thoughtful guy … and feels that when he came to the Falcons in 2008, he was committed to playing a certain brand of (power) football, controlling the line of scrimmage offensively and defensively. To some extent, we’ve gotten away from that for a variety of reasons.
“He wants to recommit himself and recommit the team to that. He felt that the coaching changes would give him an opportunity to do that as well as any appropriate changes (to) the roster.”
Like Smith’s other recent hires, Tice has worked with him in the past. He was assistant head coach/offense on the Jacksonville staff in 2006 and was the assistant head coach/tight ends from 2007-09, while Smith served as the defensive coordinator.