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Mike Tice

Photos from Inside the Seahawks:
Fill Yer Belly Deli | Deli photo

Source: Norm Evans' Seahawk Report, Vol. 4, No. 13, Sept.27 – October 3, 1982

One of the more pleasant things about this young season is the development of Mike Tice.

A converted quarterback from Maryland, Tice, now in his second season, has improved so much that offensive coordinator Jerry Rhome decided to use more double tight end formations this season.

Tice, who had four receptions against the Browns, says, “I’m only sorry now that I didn’t move to tight end in college. Several schools wanted me at that position, but being a proud guy I wanted to prove I could play quarterback.”

Tice, who saw limited action last year, labored for six months in the weight room during the off-season, developing strength and added pounds. He won the starting job from veteran John Sawyer late in the exhibition season.

Source: Seattle P-I

Saturday, December 11, 2004
A moment with ... Mike Tice, Minnesota Vikings coach
By Clare Farnsworth

Photo from Norm Evans' Seahawks Report, 1982

He not only played tight end for the Seahawks for 10 seasons, Mike Tice played the position so well he was selected to the P-I's 25th anniversary team in 2000. But in an even bigger surprise, the former quarterback from the University of Maryland is the first former Seahawks player to become a head coach in the NFL.

Q: Your contract expires after the season, how concerned are you about that?

A: "Red (McCombs, the owner) and I are on the same page as far as that pertains. We decided to deal with that after the season and this way we don't have to deal with talking about it. It's all based, as we all know, on production. We'll see how the season ends up and we'll deal with it at the end of the season."

Q: Still, doesn't the uncertainty of the situation cause some tense moments?

A: "I kind of brushed on it in our press conference (this week). I said, 'Hey, I'm going to enjoy these last 24 days ... because I love my football team.' Because they come to work every day and you can't really worry about all that. So I'm going to have fun. It is what is it, as I tell the team. If you worry about stuff like that, then you make wrong decisions."

Photo from Norm Evans' Seahawks Report, 1982

Source: Norm Evans' Seahawk Report, Vol. 4, No. 13, Sept.27 – October 3, 1982

Tice falls short of basketball ambitions, rises above football dreams
by Clare Farnsworth
It’s a very en-Tice-ing story indeed. After all, here’s a hunk of a young man from New York, a former high school and college quarterback who harbored childhood aspirations of playing professional ball, in the National Basketball Association, that is starting at tight end for a West Coast team in the National Football League. It’s too far-fetched for one of those paperback novels which occupied your early adolescence by extolling the virtues of any assortment of All-American boys. It even reads a little too bizarrely for an episode of the Twilight Zone. But this is one “tall” tale which is true.

“I guess it does sound kind of strange,” he admits through a smile. It’s tempting to say, “And his story begins when Mike was just a little boy.” but it’s hard to imagine the 6-7, 250-pound Tice ever being little.

He does, however, hail from sturdy stock: his father checks in at 6-4, 260; his mother is 5-11, and his “baby” brother carries 245 pounds on his 6-6 frame. “I come from a big family,” he says, somehow able to keep a straight face. But it is from these large roots that The Mike Tice Story has grown. For the Seattle Seahawks’ second-year tight end not only has size, but the all-around athletic skills, intelligence and levelness of head to not only put his package of physical and mental gifts to good use, but also keep it all in proper perspective.

“Mike is a very smart player who not only does the physical things right, but he doesn’t make mistakes mentally,” is the way head coach Jack Patera has put it on more than one occasion in discussing Tice, a surprising find in the Seahawks’ overstuffed bag of free agents two years ago.

Tice accepts such compliments with a smile, trying to take everything in one of his extra-large strides. “Mental mistakes can really hurt the ball club,” he explains. “And that’s one thing I try not to do...and, I don’t make too many.”

From the physical end of things, it’s another story. “I make my share,” he shrugs, “but if I make a mistake, I try to do it while giving 110 percent. That way, hopefully something positive can come out of even a mistake.” It’s more than just a little amazing that Tice is in a position to be making such mistakes—the kind which come from inexperience, those which can be corrected through time and effort. He’s a quarterback, and a basketball-playing quarterback at that. “I always wanted to do it,” he says of making a living by playing sports professionally. “But I always wanted to do it as a basketball player. I wanted to play for the (New York) Knicks... Dave DeBusschere was my idol.”

Although his Central Islip High School team finished 25-I during his junior year, Tice now admits, “I was always the big guy in the middle... a good rebounder, but not much of a shooter.” In his senior season, the team fell to 10-8, didn’t make the playoffs and it was good-bye dreams of playing in the NBA. Instead, Tice was recruited as a football player. Not just a football player, but a 6-7, 225-pound quarterback. Good grief. “In football that year,” he recalls of his senior season, “our team tied for the championship, I was named the Most Valuable Player in Rhode Island and I started to think, ‘Hey, I must be a pretty good football player.’ He selected the University of Maryland for the most unprofessional of reasons—it was close to home. But his performance at Maryland wasn’t anything to draw many looks from the pro scouts anyway.

“I wasn’t really a very good quarterback,” he says, sidestepping a chance to blame two operations on his right shoulder for any lack of good fortune during his college career. But he was contacted by two NFL clubs; Philadelphia, which would move him to tight end from Day One; and, Seattle, which would at least give him a look at quarterback. “And I wanted to give it a shot at QB,” he laughs.

So Seattle was the choice, but by the second day it was apparent to both Tice and the Seahawks that his future was as a tight end. And it’s been one of the more successful conversions in the seven-year history of a franchise which has shuffled more than its share of players and positions. It wasn’t, however, an easy move for Tice. “The biggest change was physically,” says Tice, who spent his first season as a “skinny” 235-pounder. “My upper body gave me problems. I just needed more strength to be a better blocker.” Enter Joe Vitt, the Seahawks new flex-knetic trainer, and his off-season fitness program. For Tice, it was exit the 235-pound former quarterback, enter the new 250-pound tight end. But he’s the first to admit there’s still a long road ahead for Mike Tice. “I’ve added 15 to 20 pounds,” he says of his new playing weight, “and I’d still like to add more...not weight, but upper body strength.”

The addition won’t stop there if Tice has anything to say about it. His personal scouting report shows that Mike Tice “catches the ball with his arms and chest, so he needs to work on his hands.” And once Mike Tice catches the ball, he continues, “he could maybe use a little more finess, not just try to run over people.” As for his blocking, Tice’s self-assessment shows, “he needs to be aggressive and keep his feet moving.” Shortcomings? Not really. Each of the minuses on his report card can be turned into a plus in time. It’s like he says, “I’m getting more confidence and experience with each game.” Now all he has to worry about is when that next game may be. His second season has already been hampered by a couple of nagging injuries to his left shoulder and elbow. Then came last week’s strike. And Mike Tice can’t help but wonder if maybe his second season is over before it ever got started. “I’m not in charge of what’s going on,” he says of the first regular-season work stoppage in the 63-year history of the NFL. “So I can’t be making any comments. “But I do know that I need every play I can get on the field,” he says of his personal feelings over the layoff, and then adds of his teammates, “We’re in this thing together. Whichever way it comes out, it will come out. But we want to play football.”

That’s something which hasn’t been that easy for the Seattle Seahawks during the short-lived tenure of Mike Tice. When the club went 6-10 last year, it was the first losing program he’d ever been associated with. The thought of going 6-10 “stuck in my craw” and the booing of the fans rung in his ears during the off-season. Then came this year’s 1-3 pre-season and the 0-2 start to the regular season. It hasn’t been easy, not even for someone as large as Mike Tice.

“It’s too bad we were the focal point of all this,” he says of the team’s pre-strike talk over the waiving of Sam McCullum, the former representative to the NFL Players Association.

“We took the brunt of it, and we’re a young team,” he says. “I know it affected our play. There was just too much pressure.

But he’s not about to let the situation get the best of him. After all, he didn’t make it to the NBA, he’ll never play for the New York Knicks and he’s no longer a too-big quarterback. But life has not only gone on for Mike Tice, it’s flourished.

“It has drawn us together,” he says, peeling back the dark cloud which has been hanging over the Seahawks’ heads to uncover that proverbial silver lining. “You could feel the team starting to come together last year. And now, with all the union deadlines, we’ve had so many meetings we’re really starting to get to know one another.

“Down the road,” he says, “that has to help.” Now all Mike Tice has to do to help write a happy ending is his rather en-Tice-ing story, clearing the road of all the barriers...both physical and mental.

Photo from Norm Evans' Seahawks Report, 1982

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