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Thread: Pace dismisses retirement talk
Pace dismisses retirement talk
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Friday, Oct. 26 2007
Is he retiring? Everybody in his family has asked. Several of his friends, too.
It's a fair enough question. Orlando Pace has been in the NFL for 11 seasons.
He turns 32 on Nov. 4. But now he has suffered season-ending injuries two years
in a row.
So ... ?
"I'm going to come back and play," Pace told the Post-Dispatch. "I will play.
Initially, (retirement) crosses your mind. You think, 'Man, I can't go through
another year like this.'"
But like many players, Pace wants to leave the game on his own terms. In fact,
he's adamant about it.
"I have a lot of pride in wanting to do that," Pace said. "I've done a lot of
good things in the league, and I want to continue to do more. I don't want to
have an injury force me out, or somebody else telling me: 'You can't play
"So that's the one thing that really drives me, and that's going to drive me to
play another couple years, hopefully."
Following this season, Pace will have four years remaining on a seven-year,
$52.9 million deal he signed in March 2005. Starting with the 1999 season, Pace
was selected to seven straight Pro Bowls. But the trips to Hawaii came to an
abrupt halt last season for the former No. 1 overall draft pick from Ohio State.
A torn left triceps injury against Seattle on Nov. 12 ended Pace's 2006 season.
He was punching out with his left arm, blocking former Rams teammate Grant
Wistrom, when that injury occurred.
The nightmare was revisited last month on another innocent-looking play in the
Rams' opener against Carolina. Late in the first half, Panthers defensive
tackle Kris Jenkins came at him on a running play. Pace thought the Panthers'
Mike Rucker was going to loop around to the inside, but that never happened.
"So I kind of just stuck my (right) hand out on Jenkins," Pace recalled. "I
don't even think I hit Kris that hard. It was one of those freak things."
Pace felt his right shoulder pop. He thought it was dislocated. At worst, he'd
miss a week or two, get fitted for a brace and return to action. Or so Pace
"But once they got the MRI back, it was bad," Pace said.
He had suffered a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum in the shoulder. His
season was over even as it had barely gotten started, and Pace would need
"I was really excited about playing," Pace said. "I remember the night before
the (Carolina) game, just being happy to be back out there. And then that
happens. It's almost like your world is crushed a little bit."
Pace underwent surgery Sept. 20 in Houston and is now one month into what's
expected to be a six- to eight-month recovery process.
Pace comes to Rams Park four times a week for treatment and rehab. Right now,
the rehab part consists of assistant athletic trainer Dake Walden moving Pace's
right arm up and down.
"Making sure it doesn't get stiff and I don't get arthritis," Pace said.
"Hopefully, next week I can start doing something different. That's my big
excitement in life right now — that we're going to do something different in
Next week, Pace will no longer have to wear a sling, and he hopes to start
moving his shoulder by himself. He's still a ways away from lifting weights.
He gets a steady dose of insults from teammates during those visits to Rams
Park. They all blame Pace for the rash of injuries that have struck the team
"Every time I walk into the training room, they say, 'We're cursed. Orlando,
you started this thing,'" Pace said. "But I think I got the worst end of it."
Re: Pace dismisses retirement talk
So we go through the up and downs of Franchising Pace for a couple of years. Then we finally get this guy to agree to a contract and we lose him to injuries for 2 seasons. If the RAMS didn't have bad luck they wouldn't have any luck at all.
-10-26-2007 #3StLouisSam Guest
Re: Pace dismisses retirement talk
He gets hurt every year, how much can we rely on him?
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