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Bears give assistant Tice new deal after Titans show interest

The Chicago Bears extended offensive line coach Mike Tice's contract through the 2012 season, the team announced Thursday, just a few days after blocking him from interviewing for the Tennessee Titans' offensive coordinator job.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Tice had been signed through 2011.

"Chicago has been a great fit for (wife) Diane and me," Tice told the Bears' official website. "I work with a bunch of great coaches and with players who are committed to putting in the work to be the best."

After being denied permission to interview Tice, the Titans looked elsewhere for an offensive coordinator, hiring former Cleveland Browns coach Chris Palmer on Tuesday.

In 2010, Tice's first year coaching the Bears' offensive line, Chicago allowed an NFL-high 56 sacks on quarterback Jay Cutler but saw significant improvement over the second half of the season.

Injuries forced the Bears to shuffle players in and out of the lineup early on, but the line ultimately developed some cohesiveness and consistency in their drive to a division title and the NFC's No. 2 playoff seed.

"I look forward to continuing the progress we made on the offensive line in 2010," said Tice, a longtime NFL tight end who was the Minnesota Vikings' head coach from 2001 to 2005. "Our guys are motivated, and I am excited to get back to work with them."

Tice is the fourth assistant coach to re-sign with the Bears this offseason, along with running backs coach Tim Spencer, linebackers coach Bob Babich and secondary coach Jon Hoke.

"This is a great staff to work with," Hoke said. "The staff is extremely talented, very professional in what they do and very knowledgeable. The working relationships are great because there are no egos involved. Everybody can be themselves and do their jobs.

"The pressure you feel is to make sure you're doing your job the best you can because everybody else is doing everything at such a high standard."

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