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  1. #1
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    Pace is still a no-show as season approaches

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Monday, Aug. 30 2004

    For those of you who had Monday in the "Orlando Pace" office pool, sorry, but
    thanks for playing.

    The Rams returned to work Monday for their first practice since the Washington
    exhibition game. Once again, they were without Pace, their five-time Pro Bowl
    left tackle.

    Many observers thought Monday would be the day, giving Pace two full weeks to
    prepare for the season opener Sept. 12 against Arizona. In fact, some team
    officials hoped Pace would report Sunday. That way, he could take his physical
    and sign his one-year, $7.02 million franchise tender, without missing any
    meeting time or practice time Monday.

    But none of the above happened.

    Pace has not participated in any organized team activities since the Rams'
    double-overtime playoff loss to Carolina on Jan. 10. As a result, he has missed
    all of training camp in Macomb for the third time in eight NFL seasons. And
    unless he shows up in the next day or two, he will miss the Rams' entire 2004
    exhibition schedule. The club leaves St. Louis on Wednesday for its exhibition
    finale Thursday night in Oakland.

    Pace has not returned several phone messages from the Post-Dispatch. But that's
    not surprising, considering he has not returned phone messages from coach Mike
    Martz and other members of the Rams staff.

    Pace hosted a party for team members at a midtown nightclub Friday after the
    Washington exhibition game, fueling speculation that he soon would report to
    Rams Park.

    "I have not talked to him," said Grant Williams, who has been manning left
    tackle in Pace's absence. "But I would expect him probably to come in
    (Tuesday). I know if I was in that situation, I would want to play in the last
    preseason game and get ready for the season.

    "And at the same time, I wouldn't want to jeopardize myself and miss the
    'install' and preparation for this game. You don't want to go into the Oakland
    game totally short-handed. You want to get a few reps and feel sort of
    comfortable. So I would think (Tuesday)."

    Williams said today's practice would feature the "installation" of whatever
    semblance of a game plan the Rams will have for the Raiders.

    If Pace follows the same game plan as last year, when he also balked at the
    team's franchise-player designation, he will report today. Last year, he
    reported two days before the team's preseason finale, and 12 days before the
    season opener. If he reports today, it will be two days before the preseason
    finale, and 12 days before the opener.

    Martz said he has gotten beyond the point of expecting Pace to report on any
    given day.

    "When he comes in, I'll be welcoming him with open arms, and be excited and
    elated that he's here," Martz said.

    Naturally, Martz would like to have Pace report in time to play against
    Oakland.

    "But realistically, I treat this like it's an injury," Martz said. "When you
    get the player back, you get him back. There's nothing you can do about it, so
    there's no sense really talking about it."

    Baltimore cornerback Chris McAlister signed his franchise tender Monday,
    leaving Pace, Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson and Seattle offensive tackle
    Walter Jones as the only remaining franchise players who have not reported.
    Woodson and Pace are represented by the Poston brothers - Carl and Kevin.

    Rams president of football operations Jay Zygmunt last spoke with Carl Poston
    on Friday. Poston did not return a Monday phone message from the Post-Dispatch


  2. #2
    HUbison's Avatar
    HUbison is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Pace is still a no-show as season approaches

    SIGN THE TENDER FAT BOY!!!

    Pardon me, that wasn't very nice. I should have said, "Mr. Pace, I believe it is time to end your vacation and report to work"......."FAT BOY"

    Sorry, relapse.
    "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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