Interesting read on Tice
This is from the SPPP...couldn't get the direct link, sorry.
"His players work for one of the league's least secure coaching staffs, play in arguably the most outdated combination of practice facility and stadium, and reside in one of the coldest NFL outposts.
And, until June, they also were run by one of the league's most frugal owners, Red McCombs.
That has Tice playing P.T. Barnum to his peers.
Despite such challenges, Tice attracted several of the key players who have led the Vikings from laughingstock to playoff contender in just five weeks.
Tice clinched Brad Johnson by escorting the quarterback to his car through the snow last March.
He convinced Koren Robinson with a candid cell phone conversation in September while the receiver was at a substance-abuse rehabilitation center at the University of South Carolina.
He lured free safety Darren Sharper with a walk through the Vikings' locker room.
He enticed Antoine Winfield by securing more money and a private jet to whisk the coveted cornerback and his wife from New York after he had reached an oral agreement with the Jets late one evening in 2004.
And he wrapped up Pat Williams by targeting the nose tackle on the first day of free agency and impressing him with his 14-year NFL playing career.
"Mike Tice is a tremendous recruiter," said Rob Brzezinski, who, as the Vikings' vice president of football operations, also plays a key role in the process.
"He is a significant advantage in free agency. He's able to very quickly form a relationship with these guys that makes them comfortable and excited about our program.
"That is one of Mike's greatest strengths."
Unlike their college peers, an NFL head coach's ability to recruit isn't considered a principal prerequisite.
Teaching, leading, organizing and game planning are the most valued qualities NFL owners seek.
Critics can argue about Tice's grasp on the above-listed traits. But he has a vice grip on how to recruit, and his handpicked players have saved the Vikings' season and revived his future here.
"I told him to just stay inside," Johnson said. "But I just felt comfortable when he walked me to the car. It's kind of weird. I don't need that. But I felt wanted.
"That was a big part of (my decision)."
Sharper, Williams and tight end Jermaine Wiggins appreciated Tice's candor, his extensive NFL playing career and his reputation as a players' coach.
Cornerback Fred Smoot acknowledged that Tice's active recruitment of him factored into his decision to sign with the Vikings.
A former tight end, Tice sold Wiggins on a chance to become an integral part of the passing offense, something other teams were not willing to promise.
"He said I had the ability to do that, and that's what I've been doing," said Wiggins, the Vikings' leader in receptions this season and last. "He was a big factor (in the decision)."
When he visited the Vikings after being released by the Green Bay Packers for refusing a pay cut, Sharper talked with Tice in his office and then walked around the locker room with him.
"He just went around and was honest with different players," Sharper said.
"Then, he was honest with me, as far as who they were looking at, and telling me what kind of defense we were going to run and what they expected out of me.
"I just got the feeling that he was being straightforward."
The admiration was mutual.
Although the Vikings were enamored with Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovin Darius, Tice insisted Brzezinski work out a deal with Sharper's agent, Joel Segal. Sharper agreed to terms on a four-year deal before he left Winter Park.
Underappreciated in Buffalo, Williams was flattered that the Vikings pursued him on the first day of free agency and offered him a sizable contract.
Williams also remembered Tice as an NFL player, and he connected with Tice's "lunch-pail" approach.
"Everybody always said his training camp was hard, and it was hard, but I loved it," Williams said. "I love playing for him."
But Tice doesn't limit his recruiting to the offseason. Late in the exhibition season, cornerback Brian Williams asked Tice what he thought about his former North Carolina State teammate Robinson. Tice always had been impressed with Robinson, and he decided to contact the receiver at the rehabilitation center.
Determined to concentrate on his rehab, Robinson really didn't want to talk about football or to anyone related to the game. But Tice impressed Robinson with his bluntness.
"I told him, 'Look, I've made mistakes; you've made mistakes,' " Tice recalled. " 'I'm in trouble for selling my Super Bowl tickets. I've embarrassed my family. But as long as you battle your way through it and you get yourself right, I'd love for you to come in and visit.' "
Said Robinson: "I knew he was going to keep it real. He wanted to give me a second chance."
After initially signing him, the Vikings released Robinson to save money.
But other teams, including the Packers, approached Robinson's agent, Alvin Keels. The Packers offered more money and passes, as well as a starting spot.
"I was tempted," Robinson said, "but at the end of the day, I had to be loyal and just follow my heart.
"(Tice) was the first one to step out there and give me that opportunity.
"Everyone else was just sitting back there and waiting."
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." HERBERT SPENCER
"Meet at the quarterback!" -Purple People Eaters