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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
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    Pace anchors line filled with Super Bowl veterans

    R.B. FALLSTROM
    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - Showing up on time for training camp gave Orlando Pace an added dose of confidence entering the regular season. It was good for the rest of the St. Louis Rams' offensive line, too.

    Pace was a holdout the previous two seasons after the Rams designated him as their franchise player. This March he signed a seven-year contract that put an end to that, also allowing him to participate in the team's offseason workouts and minicamps.

    "Just being around here, being in meetings and learning and getting coached, I feel a lot better than I did last year about this time," Pace said.

    The six-time Pro Bowl tackle said he never felt that training camp was a grind. He's ready to hit the ground running in Sunday's opener at San Francisco.

    "It wasn't a big deal for me," he said. "I hadn't done it for a while, so just to get through the preseason and get through it healthy is fun for me."

    Pace is the anchor on a line that's nearly identical to the fivesome that led the Rams to their last Super Bowl in 2001. Guards Adam Timmerman and Tom Nutten are holdovers, along with center Andy McCollum. There's also a Tucker at right tackle, although it's Rex instead of his brother Ryan.

    "Shoot, it's all my guys that are back," McCollum said. "Even Tucker's back, it seems like. We've been working together for such a long time and even Rex, he jumps right in there and he fits right in.

    "If we keep working together we can get back to where we were and we can be even better than that."

    For a while, the line was a bit of a question mark. Nutten, who nearly retired due to a nagging toe injury, fought his way up the depth chart after rookie Claude Terrell began training camp as the starter at left guard. A succession of players was tried at right tackle before coach Mike Martz shifted Tucker, who had been signed as the new starter at left guard, to that position for the preseason.

    Tucker, a guard throughout his career, is starting to feel more comfortable at his new spot. First-round pick Alex Barron was to have started there but lost the spot after struggling in minicamp and holding out the first two weeks of training camp.

    Tucker just does as he's told.

    "Nothing surprises me," Tucker said. "Nothing."

    Timmerman, coming off foot and shoulder surgery, didn't play in the first two preseason games.

    Now the gang's all ready for the opener.

    "I think the last two weeks they've really made a lot of strides," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "Just getting set with Tuck at right tackle, we've moved so many guys through that position in camp.

    "Tucker's gotten better and better and we have some depth we haven't had in the past."

    Pace sprained his left ankle in the final preseason game, but called the injury a "non-factor."

    "It was one of those things that probably looked a lot worse than it actually was," Pace said. "It was a normal roll and had this been a game I probably would have been back out there after one snap.

    "Everybody's pretty solid, everybody's pretty healthy, and we're ready to roll."


  2. #2
    Chiledog's Avatar
    Chiledog is offline Registered User
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    Re: Pace anchors line filled with Super Bowl veterans

    Amazing to read a story like this after years of hearing about our O-line being the weak point of the team. Let's hope they play up to expectations and stay injury free.
    "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie', until you can find a rock." Will Rogers

  3. #3
    ZigZagRam's Avatar
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    Re: Pace anchors line filled with Super Bowl veterans

    Loved the article. If Rex can prove to be as solid as Ryan was in 2001, and the rest of the old guys can hold up for another year, this offense will be nearly impossible to stop.

    Pace, Nutten, McCollum, Timmerman, Tucker. Tell me that's not a bit exciting to read.

  4. #4
    dgr828's Avatar
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    Re: Pace anchors line filled with Super Bowl veterans

    39:football:



    66 62 67 61 76

    :angryram: :clanram: :1:
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