Tice deserves new contract

Though the Vikings won't make the playoffs, Mike Tice did a tremendous job of salvaging the season, writes ESPN's Joe Theismann.

Originally Published: December 26, 2005
By Joe Theismann | ESPN Insider
After working the Christmas night game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens, I have to give a vote of confidence to head coaches Mike Tice and Brian Billick. Both have done a splendid job this season of keeping their teams together and focused on football.

Right now there is a lot of speculation that both of their jobs are in danger since both teams missed the playoffs, and I have to totally disagree with that logic. Sure, it's disappointing when a team misses the playoffs, especially when it has missed for a couple of seasons in a row, but these two teams have had major issues over the past few seasons that were completely out of the coaches' control. It's a better idea to show patience with a coaching staff and to keep them on to make their team better than to shuttle them off and have to start all over.

A perfect example is how the Pittsburgh Steelers have stuck with Bill Cowher despite his team missing the playoffs during his sixth, seventh and eighth seasons. Instead of acting quickly and harshly and disposing of Cowher, the Steelers' organization let him continue to lead his team, and now the team is a perennial playoff team with a great structure.

Joe Theismann

Football analyst
Former college and pro football star Joe Theismann has served as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Football since 1988. He also is frequently heard on ESPN Radio, regularly contributes to ESPN.com and has contributed to the NFL Draft.