Tice, Lovie on same page about offense

634478.png

Tice, Lovie on same page about offense

Mike Tice assuming the full role of offensive coordinator has to have a lot of Cheshire cat grins in one meeting room at Halas Hall. Tice may have had his Randy Ratio for wideout Randy Moss getting a minimum number of touches per game in Minnesota, but now there could be a Pancake Ratio installed, which should make a roomful of offensive linemen very happy.

Tice formally interviewed with Lovie Smith on Thursday in what may have been just a formality and final clarification of goals, styles and details.

Tice shares the same vision I have for our offense moving forward, Smith said. We want to be a strong running team with a big-play pass attack. Mike will call plays for us and continue to have an active role with our offensive line.

Tice will be Jay Cutlers fifth offensive coordinator, third in four Chicago years, but he also has been intimately involved in the things that may have kept Cutler alive over the past two seasons.

The game designs of Mike Martz saw Cutler sacked 27 times over basically 5-12 games prior to the off week in 2010, a rate of nearly 5.5 per game.

During the break and a meeting that involved Jerry Angelo, Lovie Smith, Martz and Tice, Tice was given a bigger say in the game planning and the offense was tilted toward run-pass balance. Over the final nine games, Cutler was sacked a total of 25 times (2.7 per game).

After just two games with passer ratings above his career average of 85 in the first six games, Cutler posted six of 85-plus over the final nine.

Lovie and I share a similar mindset of what the Bears offense should look and feel like, Tice said in a statement. There will be a toughness about us. We are going to be a powerful run team and were going to be able to mix in explosive pass plays.

It will be important for us to utilize the talents of our players and exploit match-ups each Sunday. We have athletes we can build with. I feel fortunate Lovie has placed the trust in me to help move us forward to a championship.

Bears' Josh Sitton finds fourth Pro Bowl most meaningful yet

Bears' Josh Sitton finds fourth Pro Bowl most meaningful yet

Sometimes the passage of time makes things a little sweeter.
 
Josh Sitton had been selected to three Pro Bowls while a member of the Green Bay Packers. At the end of training camp last year, the Packers abruptly released Sitton.
 
On Monday, Sitton was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, replacing former Green Bay teammate T.J. Lang. At age 30, this Pro Bowl was special.
 
"It's a great honor, always a goal of mine every year," Sitton said via conference call. "It's an honor to me and to the guys I play with, the guys helping me along...
 
"I would say just the age thing, the older you get, the more you appreciate them. You can't play at a high level in this game so the whole age thing makes it even more special."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
 
When the Bears were forced to go into Week 1 of the 2015 season with a shuffled offensive line, the situation wasn't ideal; Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long moving to right tackle as a hurried fill when neither Charles Leno nor Jordan Mills were an answer.
 
The 2016 season also began with an unexpected and significant shuffle, but this time with one that immediately bumped up the quality of the line. GM Ryan Pace moved quickly to sign Sitton after his release by the Green Bay Packers, a step that bumped rookie Cody Whitehair from guard to center, where he earned All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers Association of America.
 
"It was challenging for sure," Sitton said. "It was something I haven't had to do for quite some time but it was stimulating being thrown in and needing to learn the offense in four or five days."
 
Sitton, who signed a three-year contract worth as much as $21 million with $10 million guaranteed, joins rookie running back Jordan Howard as the two Bears scheduled to play in the Pro Bowl. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, missing time with an ankle injury but being a strong presence in a line that ranked No. 8 in sack percentage while getting Howard to a franchise-record 1,313 rushing yards even with a rookie center and a group that never played a game together before Week 1 in Houston against the Texans.
 
"I think we can only get better, now that we'll have an offseason together," Sitton said. "We'll see what we can do."

Bears guard Josh Sitton named as injury replacement in Pro Bowl

Bears guard Josh Sitton named as injury replacement in Pro Bowl

The Bears have another Pro Bowler.

After initially getting shut out on the Pro Bowl roster, the Bears have since had two players named as injury replacements with guard Josh Sitton now joining running back Jordan Howard.

Sitton was named as an injury replacement Monday afternoon for Packers guard T.J. Lang, who left Sunday's NFC Championship game early.

This will be Sitton's third straight Pro Bowl and fourth career honor.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The 30-year-old offensive lineman signed with the Bears before 2016 after the Packers released him.

Sitton played in 13 of the Bears' 16 games including 12 starts, helping to anchor the Bears' line when healthy.

Howard replaced Cardinals running back David Johnson on the NFC Pro Bowl roster earlier this month.