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Bears offense could resemble old Vikings attack

With Mike Tice replacing Mike Martz as the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, opposing defensive coordinators may be wise to review game film of the Minnesota Vikings offense from 2002 to 2005. Tice was the Vikings' head coach during those years, and while he wasn't involved in the play-calling, he was involved in the shaping of the system, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.

"Mike was very involved in the offense in Minnesota," said current Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who was the Vikings coordinator under Tice. "He was an offensive head coach. I leaned on him heavily. He had lots of very good ideas."

In the first three years under Tice, the Vikings ranked second (2002), first (2003) and fourth (2004) in total offense per game, a big-play offense led by quarterback Daunte Culpepper and wide receiver Randy Moss.

The Bears have a similar big-play threat at those positions in Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, who connected over 200 times for more than 2,500 yards and 13 touchdowns over the course of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Denver Broncos. Whereas Moss was the only receiving threat those Vikings teams had at the position, the Bears have better depth at wide receiver with Devin Hester, 2012 second round Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett.

As a former NFL tight end, Tice features that position prominently with Pompei noting that the Vikings used multiple tight end formations on 43 percent of the plays. With the New England Patriots showing how effective two-tight end personnel groupings can be, the Bears could do the same this season.

No team has tight ends as good as Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, but the 6-foot-6, 262-pound Kellen Davis could be used in more of a traditional role as an in-line tight end, while at 6-foot-1 and 233 pounds, 2012 fourth round pick Evan Rodriguez being used as a "move" tight end, lining up wide, flexed in the slot or as an H-back in the backfield.

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