Coincidentally, there's another NFL coach named Mike whose job could be on the line depending on how his team finishes the regular season. He is Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren's...
KIRKLAND Coincidentally, there’s another NFL coach named Mike whose job could be on the line depending on how his team finishes the regular season.
He is Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren’s counterpart Sunday in Minneapolis Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice.
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The former Seahawks tight end is in his third full season with Minnesota. The Vikings are 7-5 this season and tied for the NFC North Division lead with Green Bay, but Tice has yet to take them to the playoffs and is 22-23 since becoming their coach. Aside from that, Tice is the NFL’s lowest-paid coach ($800,000 a year) and could seek employment elsewhere even if the Vikings make the playoffs this season, presumably because he would like a raise.
Tice’s contract expires Jan. 31. He said he and team owner Red McCombs are “on the same page” as far as waiting until this season is over to talk about his future.
“This way we don’t have to deal with talking about it (now),” Tice said. “It’s all based, as we all know, on production. Red and I decided it would be best once the season got going to not even talk about it in the media.”
Vikings players have come out in support of retaining Tice, one calling him a player’s coach.
“He’s a great teacher,” defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. “He definitely helps the players out when need be. He’s just in tune with the players because he’s been a player.”
Tice, who had been rumored to have interest in the Huskies job, has resigned himself to having as much fun as he can with his players over the rest of the season, no matter what his future holds.
“I’m going to enjoy these last 25 days because I love my football team,” he said. “The reality of it is … if I don’t get the job done, I’ll be coaching special teams down at Mississippi Community College or something next year.”
Would Tice offer the same advice to Holmgren?
“I won’t give any advice to anyone,” Tice said. “Mike Holmgren has won a Super Bowl. I haven’t even gotten to the playoffs yet, so who the hell am I to give Mike Holmgren advice?”
The Moss factor
Randy Moss will play this week for Minnesota, but the star wide receiver’s workload figures to be reduced.
Tice indicated yesterday that he would like to use Moss on fewer than 50 plays Sunday. Moss had a big game against the Seahawks last season, with eight catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Moss has 34 catches for 465 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games this season. Now Moss is dealing with a partially torn hamstring and a sore back.
“I’d love to see him in the high-30s (snaps),” Tice said, “but it is hard to get him off the field. And my arms aren’t that long, so I can’t snatch him off the field.”
Linebacker Tracy White practiced yesterday for the first time in three weeks. He pulled his right hamstring at St. Louis on Nov. 14, and was missed most on special teams. White is questionable to play Sunday.
Wide receivers Jerry Rice and Darrell Jackson did not practice yesterday, Rice because of tightness in his left quadriceps that occurred in Wednesday’s practice, and Jackson because of illness. Both are probable to play Sunday.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org