Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
    RamFan_Til_I_Die is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Bakersfield, CA
    Age
    38
    Posts
    2,140
    Rep Power
    68

    Pace wants to go out on his own terms

    Pace wants to go out on his own terms

    Left tackle has been hindered by injuries for last two seasons

    BY STEVE KORTE
    News-Democrat


    MEQUON, Wis. --St. Louis Rams left tackle Orlando Pace could have walked away from football after suffering two serious injuries over the past two seasons.

    He is financially secure, and his legacy in the NFL is already assured with seven straight Pro Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl appearances and one NFL championship in 11 seasons.

    So why did Pace, 32, return for his 12th season in the NFL?

    "I want to be able to walk off the field on my own terms and not with a doctor by my side," Pace said.

    When Pace came off the field holding his arm against his side late in the first half of the season-opener against Carolina Panthers last season, it was a deflating moment for the Rams' entire team.

    "Left tackles are hard to come by, and he's one of the best of all time," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "It's hard to come by guys like that, and you miss them when they are gone. You can't really replace them."

    Pace missed the rest of the 2008 season as he underwent surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder. He'd missed the final eight games of the 2007 season because of a torn triceps muscle in his arm.

    "There is luck involved in this game, and Orlando has had bad luck the last two years," Linehan said. "Generally, luck doesn't stay bad. I think he's really worked hard getting himself in the best shape that he has been in for a long time. You can worry all day about injures and things happening in games, but you just have to think positive and know we have better days ahead."

    Pace has been cleared medically to practice, but the Rams are being cautious about bringing him up to full speed in training camp. He hasn't taken part in any one-on-one blocking drills.

    "I knew they were going to work me in slow, so this is what I expected," Pace said. "I'm getting used to tackling and hitting again, getting my body ready."

    Pace said he's still learning to trust that his surgically repaired shoulder will hold up.

    "The tough thing about practicing now is mentally being willing to throw my arm in the there and use it without even thinking about it," Pace said.

    Just having Pace on the practice field has been uplifting for his teammates.

    "Physically, it is kind of self-explanatory," Rams center Brett Romberg said of the impact of having Pace back at left tackle. "But, when you are a defensive end on the other side of the ball who is going to go against a legend like Orlando, it's a little more mental work.

    "Whether Orlando is a 100 percent or 80 percent, he is going impose some kind of difficulty for the defense we are playing."

    Rams defensive tackle La'Roi Glover said Pace still strikes fear into opposing defensive ends.

    "Name recognition," Glover said of what Pace brings to the team. "He's still a very good, if not great, football player. That means a lot.

    "Without even taking a snap or playing a down, you're going to have to study him on film, and that is going to put fear in a lot of guys' minds."

    The injuries have forced Pace, who has four years left on the seven-year, $52.9 million contract that he signed in 2005, to contemplate how long he wants to keep playing.

    "I think everybody gauges that in training camp, don't they?" Pace joked. "That is something that crosses your mind, especially with injuries. But, as long as I am healthy and playing at a high level, I will be around."

    Pace is roommates with wide receiver Torry Holt in the Rams' dorm at Concordia University. The two players have 14 Pro Bowl invitations between them.

    "We are kind of complete opposites," Pace said. "He stays up and has perfect energy, but I'm trying to get some rest. But, we have a good time and just laugh and joke, so it's not too bad."

    Pace, Holt and defensive end Leonard Little are the last holdovers from the Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" era that resulted in Super Bowl appearances in 1999 and 2001.

    "I guess we are next up in line," Pace said of all the players who have left the Rams in recent years. "We kind of joke about that because it happens so quick, the turnover on the team and things like that.

    "We are the old guys of the team now."

    Pace said he'd like to make a run at another Super Bowl before his career is over.

    "From sitting back at home and watching the playoffs, it brings you back to how exciting the playoffs are and making that run," Pace said. "That is one of the things that drive us. The older you get, the more you just want to win. It's not about money, it's not about Pro Bowls and that type of thing. You just want to win.

    "There's nothing like playing in the playoffs and then playing in the Super Bowl. That's the most exciting feeling that I have felt since I have been in the league."

    Pace said he hasn't thought about whether his NFL credentials are good enough for him to earn a trip to Canton, Ohio -- located about 110 miles from his hometown of Sandusky, Ohio, -- to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    "No, that is for other people," Pace said. "I just go out and play and whatever happens, happens, but that is a goal of mine and something I look forward to."

    Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.


  2. #2
    shower beers's Avatar
    shower beers is online now Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,043
    Rep Power
    59

    Re: Pace wants to go out on his own terms

    Let's go out there and win one for Orlando!

  3. #3
    THEFIELDGOAL's Avatar
    THEFIELDGOAL is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Salinas, California, United States
    Age
    45
    Posts
    317
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Pace wants to go out on his own terms

    It will be a tough season. But given all the changes it's very possible to get us to the playoffs.
    THE FIELD GOAL

Similar Threads

  1. Pace combines more with less
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: -07-30-2007, 07:56 AM
  2. Pace Preparing for Big Things
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: -07-29-2007, 09:43 AM
  3. Houston makes offer to Pace - PD
    By Nick in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: -03-15-2005, 11:16 AM
  4. Salary Cap Request
    By HUbison in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: -12-31-2004, 02:48 AM
  5. Pace weighs in on his stance in contract talks
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: -09-10-2004, 06:36 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •