Pace played 13 games during the 1997 season, his rookie year. He made his first start against the Oakland Raiders on September 20, 1997 and started every single game for the rest of the season. In the 1999 season Pace played in 896 of 994 offensive plays and was elected to his first Pro Bowl. It was the first time that a Ram offensive tackle was named to the Pro Bowl since Jackie Slater did so in 1990.
Sounds all peachy king right? I had to dig hard to back up what I remember to be true. I remember back in 97-98 Pace was VERY grumpy about playing, & it took alot of coaxing by Vermeil to get him in the games. If 1999 hadn't happened who knows what we would've gotten out of him. But it did & coincidentally enough? Pace had a MIRACULOUS 3 yrs. of playing w/out a single injury. Was that just good luck? I'll let you make the call on that one. He didn't get officially hurt again until right b4 playing in SB 36. However when we had a DOWN season in 2002? Guess who was on the injury list early & often. Now maybe he just got bit by an injury bug (I don't know), & after last yr. All of us now realize how freakish injuries can just come up & bite the team. However when coupled w/ his dubious history we can almost gauge what kind of season we had, based upon if Big O played the whole yr. or not. Take a look at his injury break downs through the yrs. in this chart HERE.
Now don't get me wrong folks, I'm not trying to run down Orlando. Put down the pitch forks peeps, I'm still one of the faithful. All I'm trying to illustrate is that even a GOOD HIGH draft pick has a down side. The league & many of us fans regard him as one of the best LTs in the game. But in the league of WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY, Big O has fallen short of the promise for 2 yrs. running. To be quite honest w View More »