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  1. #1
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    Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?
    BY JEFF GORDON
    Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
    Monday, Aug. 30 2004

    The Rams handled the Redskins pretty easily Friday night, even though All-Pro
    tackle Orlando Pace remained unsigned. Afterward, O.P. showed he cared by
    hosting a party for this estranged teammates at a downtown nightclub.

    But Rams Nation would like to see the big fella get back in uniform or get on
    down the trail. Here is still another sampling of the electronic mail sent to
    the "Letters to Gordo" bin:


    * * *

    "How do you think the rest of the team feels year after year after the Big Oaf
    -- I mean, Big O -- comes into camp after the rest of the team has sweated
    their backsides off in camp and says 'I am here to save the team.'

    "I say the guys ought to get together and nickname him SLACKER until he can be
    a man and do what the other guys do, work their backsides off. Remember, there
    is no letter "I" in the word team or "O" for that matter. I say get rid of Big
    Oaf."

    -- Tom Stephens

    GORDO: Well, O.P. did throw that party for the fellas, so that might smooth
    over things just a bit. Some players may still resent him, of course, but that
    could go away if the team gets off to a good start this season.

    We presume that Pace has been working hard to stay in shape, so he'll be ready
    to play once he finally signs his franchise tag tender. If he doesn't sign . .
    . well, now, that could get ugly.


    * * *

    "I've lost a lot of respect for a very fine football player. He has (bad)
    agents and listens to bad advice. Meanwhile, and you're exactly right, his
    teammates are busting backside and slowly becoming non-teammates, and on the
    offensive line of all places! His routine each year is becoming old and
    tiring, and that's too bad for the team and fans alike.

    "I'm very concerned about the 2004 season for the Rams. The team needs Big O
    to be a leader RIGHT NOW. Why don't you give him a call and ask nicely?

    -- Jeff Rabenort, Okawville


    GORDO: Ask nicely? What fun is that? I believe Pace will make it back to the
    starting lineup for Game 1. Rams fans can only hope he is more prepared for
    football than he was at this point last summer.


    * * *

    "I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but has it occurred to
    anybody that the Pace vacation through training camp may be part of a
    gentleman's agreement with the Rams for not getting signed to a long-term
    contract via the franchise tag? It would be nice if pro football were 'All for
    One and One for All' but it's a business. Listen to the tone of the coaches and
    management -- no one is making nearly as big a deal about this as the fans. It
    makes for dull print and even duller radio."

    -- Tom Grieve


    GORDO: Everybody knew this holdout was coming, once efforts to sign Pace to a
    long-term deal went nowhere. Everybody assumes Pace will come back in time for
    the season, because he has before. But keep in mind, coaches and players WERE
    trying to contact him in recent weeks, so this standoff really is a big deal
    for the franchise.

    "Let Pace sit out, or trade him if you can. This guy doesn't want to put effort
    in here in St. Louis."

    -- Mike Bray


    GORDO: The Rams need the guy, plain and simple. With the demise of right tackle
    Kyle Turley and center Dave Wohlabaugh, this team is awfully vulnerable along
    the offensive line. Add a Pro Bowl-caliber blocker to the current unit and it
    gets a whole lot better overnight.


    * * *

    "I sure hope Orlando was watching Monday night, and to know that he's needed.
    And, as for those two idiots he calls agents, I hope future NFL players will
    take note and avoid those clowns at all cost."

    -- Dan Stecklein, Dodge City, Kan.


    GORDO: The Poston Brothers get top dollar for their clients, so they will
    always get more clients. Players have no empathy for the billionaire owners
    these agents work over. Why should they? Business is business. At the end of
    the day, the players have to make their own call on when to sign and for how
    much.


    * * *

    "How can he do this (hold out)? Because he simply doesn't care. Pace is an
    overstuffed, spoiled rotten, overrated PUNK who will never make the most of his
    ability. Best left tackle in football MY (BACKSIDE). He plays with no fire,
    just like the rest of his teammates (and head coach). The whole thing is beyond
    frustrating."

    -- Mike Wirth


    GORDO: It's good to let those feelings out. Let those emotions build up inside
    and you'll turn as wacky as that dude in the kilt at the Olympic marathon.

    But Pace IS an excellent player, arguably the best at his position. He's a good
    guy, too, although not overly demonstrative on the field. He earns respect on
    the field, both with teammates and opponents. And that is where he needs to
    get, ASAP.

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  2. #2
    tim Guest

    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    While Pace might be letting his teammates down, I don't think it's terribly wrong for him to holdout during training camp and the preseason. What if the big fella has a career ending injury during camp? I'm sure it's frustrating for some of them, but I bet most of the players understand. It's just the business side of football that they all are part of. If he shows up soon all should be forgiven.

    - tim

  3. #3
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    But what if there is a blown coverage in the first regular season game due to his inexperience at playing with the rest of the line, and that cause Marshall or Bulgar to be out for an extended time? You got to think that AZ's right DE is just loving this hold out...

    Get your BUTT on the team O...
    This space for rent...

  4. #4
    tim Guest

    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Normally I'd agree, but Pace had such a great year last year after holding out that I'm confident he'll be the same Orlando.

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Yea, he had a great first game of the season......... mmmmm, no wait .... thats the game that Warner got the ****e kicked out of him, yea, thats the one.


  6. #6
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    I don't remember any of those sacks coming from OP's side. If I do recall, that bum rush came up the middle. In fact, it came up the middle all year long.

  7. #7
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    Yea, he had a great first game of the season......... mmmmm, no wait .... thats the game that Warner got the ****e kicked out of him, yea, thats the one.
    Really? See, I thought it had more to do with the three guys on the line who were new to either the team or their position that season. Hmm, perhaps not. :tongue:
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  8. #8
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    I don't remember any of those sacks coming from OP's side. If I do recall, that bum rush came up the middle. In fact, it came up the middle all year long.
    You're right, and now that McCollum is back at C the middle should look better.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Thats the way I remember it. The other guys were all watching the lards back so ended up giving up the sacks. Also, remember that Pace spent most of the time checking his uniform still fitted


  10. #10
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    I do seem to recall Pace recovering one of Warner's fumbles. That should count for something.

  11. #11
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    The way I saw it, Pace looked like he spotted a rather large leg of lamb rolling across the field and jumped on it pronto ............. ufortunatly for him, it was the football


  12. #12
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Think we could get Pace and BernieM to say hello to the Clan during the Bash? I know you would absolutely LOVE that boss.....

    LOL

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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Hey, I am just trying to put over another perspective you know


  14. #14
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamDez
    The way I saw it, Pace looked like he spotted a rather large leg of lamb rolling across the field and jumped on it pronto ............. ufortunatly for him, it was the football
    Must have sucked when he bit into it, then.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Letters to Gordo: On Pace for disaster?

    You know what, I dont think he noticed


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