Pace wants a victory - and an agent
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
Thursday, Jan. 06 2005

Orlando Pace said Thursday that he still doesn't have an agent. But finding one
will be at the top of his offseason to-do list.

"After the season, I'm going to attack that pretty good," Pace said. "Probably
the first week after the season."

For now, Pace and the Rams are still working. Despite an 8-8 finish, the Rams
qualified for the playoffs.

"It was a goal of ours," he said. "We didn't have the season that we wanted to
have. But obviously, we're here now. ... So we've got to go out and play our
style of football, and try to get a win."

Asked to assess his play this season, Pace replied: "It's tough to say. When
you're 8-8, I don't think anybody's playing as well as they want to play. So
obviously, I haven't played as well as I wanted to play."

Even so, Pace was voted onto the Pro Bowl team at left tackle for the sixth
consecutive season.

"It feels good," Pace said. "Any time you're selected by your peers to be in
the Pro Bowl, it's always an honor and a pleasure."

Pace has played in only three of his previous five Pro Bowls, missing two trips
to Hawaii because of injuries.

Before the Rams' Dec. 19 game in Arizona, coach Mike Martz offered only
lukewarm praise when asked about Pace's play.

"He's playing pretty well ... but he can play better," Martz said at the time.

Pace said Thursday he was unaware of Martz's comments.

"I just try to go out and play," Pace said. "I understand we were going through
a tough part of our season - not only myself. But I need to play better.
Everybody needs to play better."

The team played better in victories over Philadelphia and the New York Jets to
qualify for the playoffs. After the Eagles game Martz singled out Pace, saying
it might have been his best performance in two years.

After being designated as the team's franchise player for the second year in a
row, Pace skipped training camp for the second year in a row last summer. On
Thursday, Pace disagreed with a reporter's suggestion that he may have missed
the benefits of training camp more this year than in 2003.

"Training camp is training camp," Pace said. "I don't think I missed it any
more."

When Pace fired agent Carl Poston just before the start of the 2004 season,
hopes were raised that Pace could sign a multiyear contract with the Rams. But
Pace couldn't say for sure Thursday if he'd be back in St. Louis next season.

"It's up to the people upstairs who make those decisions," he said. "I like St.
Louis. It's been good to me. And if I'm able to come back and we can work
something out, it'd be great."

Team president John Shaw has consistently indicated that the Rams would
"franchise" Pace for the third consecutive year if unable to reach agreement on
a multiyear deal. Pace shrugged off that possibility Thursday.

"It's part of the business," Pace said. "I'm used to it now."


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