- Chris Mortensen, NFL reporter
Two cents worth, around the NFL:
Mike Tice either should have been fired by former owner Red McCombs or given a minimum two-year extension at the end of the 2004 season. A one-year contract severely limited Tice's options to replace valued offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who bolted for the Miami Dolphins and an $800,000-plus annual salary. Nobody wants to work for a lame-duck coach.
Tice erred when he assigned line coach Steve Loney the job of play calling. Quarterback coach Rich Olson should have been given the controls.
Even with Tice (a former line coach) helping Loney, the Vikings' line is awful so far. By now, we understand just how valuable injured Pro Bowl center Matt Birk was to the Vikings' offense, not just physically but from a leadership and football intelligence standpoint.
There's also the bigger picture to consider.
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