Mike Tice to coach Falcons' O-line

Updated: January 8, 2014, 10:17 AM ET
By Vaughn McClure | ESPN.com

Onetime Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice, who last was the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears in 2012, has agreed to become the Atlanta Falcons' offensive line coach.

Tice and the Falcons agreed to a two-year deal, a league source told ESPN.com. The Falcons officially announced the deal Wednesday.

He will replace Pat Hill and Paul Dunn, who were relieved of their duties after the Falcons' 4-12 season.

Tice, 54, has ties to Falcons head coach Mike Smith as well as offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. He was an assistant head coach on offense for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2006-09) when Smith was the defensive coordinator there (2003-07). Koetter was the Jaguars' offensive coordinator from 2007 to 2011.

Tice is a former NFL tight end who played 14 seasons for the Seahawks, Vikings and Redskins. He was the Vikings' head coach from 2002 to 2005.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday the organization needed to bring more toughness to the line of scrimmage. Tice will be in charge of the unit that contributed to quarterback Matt Ryan being sacked a career-high 44 times this past season. The line's inability to block in the running game also led to the Falcons finishing dead last in the NFL in rushing yards per game.

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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