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What Randy Karraker has to say on Pace

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  • What Randy Karraker has to say on Pace

    The Rams can talk to the agent, just not about a long term contract.
    Pace was a Pro Bowl player last year.
    With all due respect to Scott Tercero, I'll take a Pace that hasn't played to a Tercero that has.
    How's it going? I don't have anything against Tercero, either...I think he has a chance to be terrific. Hopefully at guard. But I wouldn't rather have him, right now, at 100% over an 80% Pace. To compare him to a five time Pro Bowler who's one of the two best tackles in the game isn't fair. Tercero may turn out to be a Hall of Fame player, but...once again with all respect due Tercero...Pace is going to the Hall of Fame. I'd rather have him.
    I said on the air the other night, if I were the Rams this would be it with Pace, I'd let him walk after this season because of the things you say. But since Pace is on the team now, he is their best offensive lineman. If the coaches didn't think he was their best left tackle on Sunday, they wouldn't play him. If he's frustrated and doesn't want to be here, good riddance. But he's the man now, and they can't get rid of him and change the offense. They've had to change enough without Turley. The Rams run an offense that requires someone of Pace's unique pass blocking abilities at LT. It'll take an off-season to change the personality of the team to a running team, or to find another premier left tackle.


    Oh, by the way...Brian Billick brought a broadcast crew I know into a film session last season and showed them mental mistake after mental mistake by Ogden, and told these guys he isn't as good as Pace and Jones. Grant Wistrom told me that Jones is far and away the best left tackle he plays against...this was last year after the Rams/Baltimore game. From all the coaches and experts I talk to, it's Pace and Walter Jones at the top, followed by Ogden, Samuels, McKinnie, then Roaf and Thomas. This isn't my opinion, just opinions from people that know a lot more about offensive line play, and see a lot more, than I do.

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Pace Proves a Pleasant Surprise to Rams
    by RamWraith

    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace broke a three-day silence on his contract holdout Thursday, saying a lighter playing weight would help him get back into playing shape in time for Sunday's opener.

    Earlier this week Pace agreed to a one-year, $7.02 million contract as the team's franchise player, and he practiced for the first time Wednesday. He reported at 325 pounds, almost 20 pounds below last year, and believes that will offset the fact he's got only four practices to get ready.

    During the offseason, in addition to working out on his own, Pace largely eliminated fried foods from his diet and cut back on his soft drink intake.

    "I feel light years better than I did last year," Pace said. "I feel a lot quicker, a lot fresher. That was one of the elements I dealt with last year, just trying to get the weight down."

    After two workouts, the Rams have been pleasantly surprised by Pace's conditioning.

    "It looks like he's been here all camp, honest to goodness he does," coach Mike Martz said. "No mental errors and he's quick, he's physical.

    "At this time last year he was very sluggish and the conditioning was a factor for him."

    Martz said there's no question Pace will be ready for the opener.

    "If there was any doubt, if he was not in great shape or if he was sloppy and making mistakes out here, you'd have to consider otherwise," Martz said. "But it's clear in my mind, he's looked terrific."

    Pace, the first overall pick of the 1997 draft, has been a holdout in three of his eight seasons. He said there's been no backlash from teammates who went through two-a-days plus four preseason games.

    "Really the bottom line, and what matters most in this locker room, is how the guys feel," Pace said. "And they're happy to see me and they're happy I'm back on the team."

    Pace said a holdout was his only option when the Rams designated him as their franchise player for the second straight season. Now that he's signed the Rams and Pace's agents, the Poston brothers, can negotiate a long-term deal.

    Not that he's holding his breath, considering the sides were far apart the last time they talked.

    "Right now I'm not really focusing on next year," Pace said. "Whatever happens at the end of the season, hopefully I can sign a long-term deal. If not, we'll be sitting here talking about the same thing next year."

    After three holdouts, Pace remains steadfast in support of his high-profile agents. He also said the bottom line is these are his decisions.

    "I always have confidence in the people that represent me," Pace said. "They're professionals in what they...
    -09-09-2004, 04:26 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
  • RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Pace wants to go out on his own terms
    by RamFan_Til_I_Die
    Pace wants to go out on his own terms

    Left tackle has been hindered by injuries for last two seasons


    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...
    -07-28-2008, 12:02 PM
  • RamWraith
    Pace dismisses retirement talk
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    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

    "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

    "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

    "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
  • RamWraith
    Caution is word for Pace
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    Tuesday, May. 22 2007

    Perhaps no one took it harder last season when injury struck down Rams left
    tackle Orlando Pace than he and wife Carla's four children. Not that they were
    worried so much about Dad; it was the loss of their annual Hawaiian vacation
    that saddened young Justin, Jalen, Landon and Kendall.

    "Yeah, my kids were a little upset about that. I missed it, too," Pace said,
    smiling. "Hopefully we can get back and make that trip again."

    Pace had spent part of the last seven Februarys in Honolulu, site of the Pro
    Bowl. But his reign as an NFL all-star was ripped away Nov. 12 in Seattle when
    the triceps muscle was ripped away from the bone in his upper left arm.

    He was hurt taking on defensive end Grant Wistrom, a former Rams teammate, on a
    routine pass-blocking play. Five days later, Pace underwent surgery, and he
    spent the next two months with his arm encased in a bulky brace.

    Pace is taking it slowly during spring workouts, participating in walk-through
    drills but avoiding contact. He said the doctors have told him that he should
    be 100 percent by the time training camp begins in late July.

    "This is kind of uncharted territory for me, and it's difficult," Pace said.
    "They just told me to be patient, be smart about it."

    The No. 1 overall selection in the 1997 draft, Pace never missed a game because
    of injury at Ohio State and had sat out just seven times since becoming the
    Rams' full-time starter in '98. The longest he'd been out was three games.

    Spending the final seven games on the sideline last year hurt almost as much as
    the painful rehab that Pace has endured the last few months.

    "That's probably the first time in my life somebody's telling you you're not
    well enough to play football," said Pace, who turned 31 two days after he was
    injured. "It was just hard going to the games and watching ... really rough."

    The Rams dropped three of their next four games following Pace's injury, but
    closed with victories over Oakland, Washington and Minnesota to wind up 8-8.
    Todd Steussie finished the season at left tackle, and with veterans Andy
    McCollum (knee) and Adam Timmerman (ribs) also out, youngsters Mark
    Setterstrom, Brett Romberg, Richie Incognito and Alex Barron filled out the
    rest of the offensive line.

    Pace said their impressive play had re-energized him.

    "I think the most exciting part about having those young guys step up like that
    is that it builds depth on our offensive line," he said. "The coaches trust
    those guys because they have game experience....
    -05-22-2007, 05:23 AM