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Decision to release Pace not looking so bad in hindsight

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  • Decision to release Pace not looking so bad in hindsight

    Decision to release Pace not looking so bad in hindsight
    by VanRam on Nov 13, 2009 10:46 AM



    In last night's loss to the *****, the Bears lost LT Orlando Pace to what is now believed to be a concussion. As you may recall, the St. Louis Rams decision to part ways with their long-time stalwart LT was received with mixed feelings. However, hindsight being 20-20, the move looks down right prescient right now. Check out what Rotoworld had to say about Pace's season:

    Pace has been a disappointment as a run-blocker this season, and his pass protection hasn't exactly been stellar, either.

    Alex Barron hasn't been without his flaws for the Rams, but he has mostly been average or better in his blocking. It's the penalties that continue to be his biggest handicap. Still, the real story has been the emergence of rookie Jason Smith.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: Decision to release Pace not looking so bad in hindsight

    I think even Barron's penalties are significantly better than previously.

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    • #3
      Re: Decision to release Pace not looking so bad in hindsight

      I think most of us thought it was the right decision,but it's always tough to watch a future HOF'er switch teams when he has been such a hugh part of the successful years. I think everyone knew we had to get younger but still sad to see these guys go.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Decision to release Pace not looking so bad in hindsight

        I haven't watched a lot of Bears games this year (or watched Pace specifically very closely when I do catch a Bears game) so I'm going to have to ask those around here that have watched more - is his blocking really that bad?

        I assumed that his pass-blocking was a factor in allowing Cutler to throw as much as he has this year, the Bears have suddenly become a pass-first team. They have been surprisingly effective through the air this season.

        The concussion doesn't mean anything in this regard. You can't say that makes it a good move to cut him, that's just random.

        I do agree however that with Barron & Smith playing about as well as Pace would have, and for less money and being younger too - in that way you could say it was the right decision.

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        • evil disco man
          Pace confident he, Bears are ideal fit
          by evil disco man
          By Jeffri Chadiha
          ESPN.com

          LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- As excited as Chicago Bears fans are about the presence of new quarterback Jay Cutler, there is another fresh face they should be keeping an eye on: left tackle Orlando Pace. He signed with the Bears after the St. Louis Rams released him in March. He also brings a Pro Bowl pedigree and a Super Bowl ring to town. What remains to be seen now is whether Pace can be the same player he's been for most of his 12 NFL seasons.

          For all of Pace's accolades -- he's a seven-time Pro Bowler who was the foundation of the Rams' offensive line during its glory years -- it's hard to know exactly what he has left. He's 33 years old. He hasn't played a full season since 2005. These are the kinds of facts that simply can't be ignored when you're asking a player to protect the blind side of the most highly anticipated quarterback in team history.

          Pace realizes he's at a point in his career where he'll face more questions about his ability. Yet he also believes he's found a place where he can be another vital component of a championship contender.

          "This was just a good fit for me because I wasn't just going to go anywhere," Pace said after completing a team workout Wednesday.

          "I had talked to Baltimore as well, but coming here really made more sense. Plus, I wanted to win. I was coming from a place where we won five games over the last two years."

          That constant losing in St. Louis is what really has motivated Pace to make his mark in Chicago. He says the recent demise of the Rams was both mentally and physically draining, especially for a player who helped that team to two Super Bowls between 1999 and 2001 (including a victory over the Tennessee Titans in that first appearance). Pace also has been around the NFL a long time. He knew his days were numbered in St. Louis when it became clear that the team was starting to rebuild.

          After all, Pace missed two games last season because of injuries. A torn labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder cost him 15 games in 2007. He also sat out eight games during the 2006 season after tearing his left biceps tendon. So when the Rams released him -- a move that saved the team $6 million in cap space and shed them of the first overall pick in the 1997 NFL draft -- it wasn't hard to understand their thinking. They saw a player on the downside of his career.

          Pace admits that he seriously pondered his future. He even talked about retirement with former Baltimore Ravens left tackle Jonathan Ogden when the two ran into each other in Las Vegas last summer. At that time, Ogden recently had retired after a 12-year career that included 11 Pro Bowl appearances. Though Pace wanted to know what drove Ogden from the game, Pace also left that conversation feeling as if he and Ogden were in different places.

          Said Pace: "Jonathan told...
          -05-25-2009, 12:12 PM
        • RamWraith
          Pace Enjoying Offseason Work
          by RamWraith
          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          Orlando Pace doesn’t remember where he was at this time last year. The one place he knows he wasn’t was Rams Park for the team’s veteran mini-camp.

          “I probably was working out, just hanging out with my kids. I’m not much of a golfer, so I was probably just chillin’ at home,” Pace said.

          For the first time since 2002, the Rams’ All-Pro left tackle is attending the team’s veteran mini-camp. Pace missed each of the past two mini-camps because of a contract stalemate.

          Armed with a new seven-year, $52.9 million deal and the title of team captain, Pace seems rejuvenated. Soon after signing the long-term contract, Pace received a call from coach Mike Martz telling him that he was going to be a captain.

          The decision to make Pace a captain was easy for Martz.

          “Just the tempo of which he does things, he is just a great role model for the entire offensive line,” Martz said. “We have some guys that are first-time starters and first-time here. He’s a terrific role model (for them).”

          Pace’s long and winding road from the first pick in the 1997 draft to six-time Pro Bowler has brought many achievements, but he has never been a team captain before. Pace left Ohio State a year early after winning the Lombardi Trophy as the best offensive lineman two years in a row. Because of his early departure, Pace never led the Buckeyes, as Ohio State reserves that honor for seniors.

          Of course, Pace was not a captain in recent seasons because he wasn’t around. Without a long-term deal in place, the Rams placed the franchise tag on Pace in each of the past three seasons.

          The past two years, Pace has not attended any of the mini-camps or training camps because of the franchise tag. In his efforts to get a long-term contract done, he chose to stay away.

          The time missed didn’t hurt Pace’s performance much, as he still made the Pro Bowl both years. There was, however, a noticeable difference in Pace’s performance last season. Pace admitted on the day he signed his contract that he didn’t play up to his all-world potential last year and an offseason of normal training would probably rectify that.

          Now, Pace knows he has a chance to be at his absolute best next year, a scary thought for opposing defenses.

          “I think sometimes what gets lost in holding out is you don’t have a chance to work on your game as much,” Pace said. “I think just being here in the offseason gives you a chance to work on your game and really try to hone your skills.”

          Last season was particularly difficult for Pace, not only because of his uncertain contract status, but also because of the revolving door next to him at left guard and on the other end at right tackle.

          Both of those problems seem to be solved, though, as St. Louis signed Rex Tucker to operate next to Pace...
          -06-04-2005, 03:35 PM
        • RamWraith
          Pace dismisses retirement talk
          by RamWraith
          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
          anymore.'

          "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
          thought.

          "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
          surgery.

          "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...
          -10-26-2007, 07:09 AM
        • bruce4life
          hmmmm... pace doubtful..
          by bruce4life
          dont look like pace will be playing this weekend against the lions... thats going to hurt us but i believe adam goldberg can get it done
          -09-29-2006, 03:37 PM
        • bigredman
          Have recent millions made Orlando Pace soft?
          by bigredman
          I'm concerned at the number of false starts, which he rarely if ever did before. Also, It's been my observation that Orlando has been beaten more often, especially when there is only a three man rush. As was the case today, I've seen Orlando being overpowered back into the pocket by the defender or flat out beat and run around. In any event, it doesn't appear he is the dominate player he once was, and it would be a mistake for the offensive line coach to leave him on an island to fend for himself in the future.
          -10-15-2006, 09:33 PM
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