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    From USAToday: Pace going back to Macomb; Bryce Fisher's Departure; Team Needs

    Inside Slant

    Now that Orlando Pace is under contract to the Rams for seven years, he will make a trip in July he hasn't made since 2002: to Macomb, Ill., site of the team's training camp.

    Asked if he might need to have help getting there, a laughing Pace said, "I think I might. I know there's a few turns in there that I'm not sure of. But I'm sure I'll find my way."


    Finding a way was important for the Rams to get Pace under contract and not be forced to live through another summer without him. Last year, a back injury to right tackle Kyle Turley, plus Pace's absence caused numerous shuffling on the line throughout camp.

    Now, the team can concentrate on what it will do at right tackle and left guard without worrying about whether Pace will there or whether to consider the option of trading him.

    "It is a big relief for me to finally get this deal done," Pace said. "I know we've been working at it for three years now. ... Trust me, this contract took a lot out of me, just over these past couple years."

    Said Jay Zygmunt, the Rams' president of football operations, "It feels great to have the premier left tackle in the NFL under contract for seven years. Someday in Canton his bust will be next to Jackie Slater's."
    Pace will not only be in training camp, but will also attend the team's offseason program as well as minicamps.


    He said, "I feel like two years ago was probably one of my best seasons. And last year was probably one of my worst seasons. So it's tough to really gauge what missing camp really meant."

    Zygmunt believes Pace will now raise his game to an even higher level than it has been.

    "I think we're going to really see the Orlando that no one's ever seen here," Zygmunt said. "I don't think there's too many people that have as much talent as he has."

    NOTES, QUOTES
    óDE Bryce Fisher, who led the Rams with 8.5 sacks last season, signed a four-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks worth $10 million. Fisher is reunited with former Rams defensive end Grant Wistrom, who signed with the Seahawks last year.


    Fisher was disappointed the Rams never made an offer in an effort to keep him.

    "My feelings are a little hurt because I really enjoyed my three years in St. Louis," Fisher said. "I've had a great time. My wife loved it up there. But I can't be upset because they gave me every opportunity to show what I can do in this league."


    The Rams wanted Fisher back, but not at the price he got from Seattle. Rookie Anthony Hargrove started ahead of Fisher at the end of last season, and is expected to be the starter at right end next season.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I was optimistic this morning because I looked out the window and hell had frozen over. So I figured we had a chance." - President of football operations Jay Zygmunt on his outlook on the day of the deadline for signing LT Orlando Pace to a long-term contract.

    STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

    NEEDS/DRAFT PRIORITIES

    1. Safety. Even with the switch of Pisa Tinoisamoa to strong safety and Adam Archuleta to free safety, the team can't assume it will work. Nor is it a slam-dunk that Archuleta will overcome the back woes that seriously affected his 2004 performance. Depth at the position is needed. Some if it came with the signing of Michael Stone, but that should be just the start.

    2. Defensive end. This position appears in good shape, but that could change quickly. Bryce Fisher is an unrestricted free agent, and Leonard Little is scheduled to go to trial March 28 on drunk driving charges. The Rams like the potential of Anthony Hargrove, who was starting at the end of the season, but they have to ensure that there is quality depth there.

    3. Tackle. Blaine Saipaia held his own at right tackle at the end of the season, but coaches believe he will be better as a guard. Free agency has been pricey for tackles, and the Rams don't want to wade in those expensive waters. They looked closely at the tackles at the scouting combine.


  2. #2
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: From USAToday: Pace going back to Macomb; Bryce Fisher's Departure; Team Needs

    I liked reading Pace's candor about the fact that he didn't have his best season last year. I look forward to big things from him this year.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -03-20-2005 at 09:46 PM.

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    Re: From USAToday: Pace going back to Macomb; Bryce Fisher's Departure; Team Needs

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    I liked reading Pace's candor about the fact that he didn't have his best season last year. I look forward to big things from him this year.
    keep your fingers crossed,hes no spring chicken,but hes a strong and fast s.o.b. hoping your right A.V. Hold it against you if your not.I'll have to send you a new sword.
    Last edited by psycho9985; -02-02-2006 at 10:17 PM.
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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    majorram's Avatar
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    Re: From USAToday: Pace going back to Macomb; Bryce Fisher's Departure; Team Needs

    Pace better be super human for what we have paid for his services...... :redface:

    steve :ramlogo:

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