Raiders want to talk to Tice

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Raiders want to talk to Tice

Coach Lovie Smith remarked after this season that every coach on our staffyou would like to see them take another step. He may get his wish, unfortunately for his own staff fortunes.

The Oakland Raiders have requested permission to interview offensive coordinator Mike Tice for their vacant head-coaching job, a story first reported by the Tribune. The Bears dont have a choice but to give that permission, since under NFL rules, assistants are always permitted to explore head-coaching jobs even if still under contract to their current team.

The Raiders have an extensive candidate list numbering nearly a dozen, and new general manager Reggie McKenzie has those and potentially others to evaluate.

The problem for the Bears, however, is potentially serious.

They and Tice, a former head coach with the Minnesota Vikings while McKenzie was a member of the Green Bay Packers front office, are in the process of hiring a passing-game coordinator as a top Tice assistant. Former quarterbacks coach Greg Olsen has been interviewed and others are on Tices list.

But that process now potentially grinds to a dangerous halt until the Tice-Oakland situation plays itself out. Indeed, if Tice leaves, the Bears could well be interviewing those candidates, possibly including Clyde Christensen of the Indianapolis Colts, for the full coordinators position.

Tice was promoted from offensive line coach to coordinator just days after the Bears parted ways with Mike Martz. He has been a dominant influence on the offense over the past two years, directing an offensive line that was key in the Bears rushing for 2,015 yards in 2011 despite losing quarterback Jay Cutler after 10 games and Matt Forte two games later.

Brandon Marshall doesn't remember 3 TD game from Bears-49ers in 2014 because he was on pain pills

Brandon Marshall doesn't remember 3 TD game from Bears-49ers in 2014 because he was on pain pills

Remember back in 2014 when the Bears rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the 49ers 28-20 in San Francisco on Sunday Night Football?

Well, Brandon Marshall doesn't.

And he had three of the four touchdown catches, two of them coming in the last quarter.

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The former Bears wide receiver, who had been dealing with a high ankle sprain, said he took pain pills before the game and doesn't recall much of it, including the incredible one-handed grab that went viral.

"I don't really remember much about that game because I worked really hard to get back from a high ankle (sprain)," Marshall said during a conference call Wednesday. "I'll say it, I took a couple pain pills that masked the pain. I really wasn't supposed to play. I came back from a high ankle (sprain) within 10 days. I was supposed to be out four to six weeks. I don't remember much from that game. I just remember catching those balls. And that was pretty much it."

If only Bears fans could forget that season entirely, which ended in a 5-11 record and the end of the Marc Trestman era.

Bears win over 49ers nets DE Akiem Hicks NFL defensive honor

Bears win over 49ers nets DE Akiem Hicks NFL defensive honor

It may have been just a distant similarity to players on an MLB cellar-dweller earning a Cy Young or MVP award (which happens in Chicago, a lot – Andre Dawson, Ernie Banks twice), but to the Bears it matters. Defensive end Akiem Hicks was named NFC defensive player of the week after his dominating performance in the Bears win last Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, and he is not alone among Bears getting recognition after one of their few victories.

Never mind that the victory moved the Bears to 3-9 and came over a team losing its 11th straight game. What Hicks accomplished – two sacks, 10 tackles, a quarterback hit, a forced fumble – was being a force in the Bears’ domination of the 49ers and has been part of the emotional core of a team that has lost but not folded.

“It’s easy to say, ‘We’re not getting the results we want,’ but guys have invested,” Hicks said. “I’ve told guys, ‘just think about the hours you’ve invested, to get your body and mind ready for a 16-game season. Why would you put all that work in and then, when you don’t get the results you want, just quit?’"

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Jordan Howard is one of the nominees for the FedEx Air & Ground NFL player of the week. Howard, who posted his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the year, could be a double-winner: He also is among the nominees for Pepsi NFL rookie of the week, as is teammate Leonard Floyd (two sacks, safety, four tackles).

Voting on the latter two awards is still open.

Hicks’ play vs. San Francisco boosted him to a career-best six sacks, and he credited Bears coaches afterwards with giving him opportunities to rush the passer, not simply be utilized as a run-stopper. He has been everything and perhaps a little more than the Bears anticipated when they signed him this offseason to a two-year contract worth $10 million, with $5 million guaranteed.

“I think he's done well,” said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “It's a credit to him, a credit to Jay [Rodgers, defensive line coach]. Akiem has kept improving throughout the season, and he's been one of the guys that have been there each and every week, playing a lot of plays for us, and he's been a steady bell cow for us in there.”