Orlando Pace: Wikis

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Orlando Pace

Pace with the Bears in 2009.
No. --     Free Agent
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: November 4, 1975 (1975-11-04) (age 34)
Place of birth: Sandusky, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Weight: 325 lb (147 kg)
Career information
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Debuted in 1997 for the St. Louis Rams
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Games played     169
Games started     165
Fumble recoveries     7
Stats at NFL.com

Orlando Lamar Pace (born November 4, 1975 in Sandusky, Ohio) is an American football offensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams first overall in the 1997 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State. Pace has started all 16 games eight times (1998-2001, 2003-05) and blocked for three straight NFL MVPs (Kurt Warner; 1999, 2001 and Marshall Faulk; 2000). He was the cornerstone of a Rams offensive line that threw for more gross yards than any other team during his 12 years in St. Louis (50,770 in 12 seasons), finished second in completion percentage (61.8 percent) and fifth in TD passes (289) over that time. The Rams offenses threw for more than 3,000 yards in all 12 of his NFL seasons, seven quarterbacks eclipsed the 3,000-yard mark in a season, including three times surpassing the 4,000-yard mark, under his protection and also blocked for seven 1,000-yard rushers. Pace has started 154 consecutive games. Pace was a first overall pick in 1997 NFL Draft and was the first offensive lineman chosen first overall since 1968.

A five-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Pace earned a Super Bowl ring with the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. He has also played for the Chicago Bears.

Contents

Early Years

Pace was a two-sport athlete for Blue Streaks at Sandusky High School. He was named to Parade Magazine All-America team as offensive lineman and USA Today All-America as defensive lineman[1]. Pace added all-Ohio second-team honors as junior and averaged 18 points as center on 22-3 basketball team.

College career

Pace played college football at Ohio State University and was only the second true freshman ever to start on opening day for the prestigious Buckeyes football team. He won the Outland Trophy in 1996 for the best college football interior lineman. He won the Lombardi Award for the best college lineman or linebacker in 1995 and 1996 becoming the only two-time winner of that award. He is one of only twelve players to have won both the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award. He and Dave Rimington are the only three-time winners in the Outland/Lombardi category. He was a finalist for the 1996 Heisman Trophy finishing fourth in the voting, the highest finish for a lineman (offense or defense) since Hugh Green finished second in 1980. Pace is considered by many to be the top offensive tackle in the history of college football. Pace also lined up at defensive tackle during some goal line situations during his junior year at Ohio State.

He was so dominant that the term pancake block—referring to when an offensive lineman knocks a defender on their back—gained popularity at Ohio State due to his play[2][3][4], although several other college teams have been using the term since the 1980s, most notably Nebraska. In fact, the Ohio State Athletic Department distributed Orlando Pace pancake magnets as a promotion for his Heisman Trophy run. Pace did not allow a sack in his last two years at Ohio State. He was a Business major.

In 1999, Pace was selected as a starting offensive tackle by Sports Illustrated in their "NCAA Football All-Century Team". The other starting offensive tackle on that list was Bill Fralic. The second and third team offensive tackles were Ron Yary, George Connor, Dan Dierdorf and Bob Gain. Pace was one of five Ohio State Buckeye's on SI's All-Century Team 85-man roster; the others being Jim Parker, Archie Griffin, Chris Spielman and Jack Tatum. He did not allow a quarterback sack in last two seasons. He majored in Business.

Professional career

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1997 NFL Draft

After Peyton Manning chose to skip the 1997 NFL Draft and return to Tennessee, Pace was considered to be the top candidate for the Jets′ selection at No. 1 in the draft.[5] The Jets eventually traded their top pick to the Rams one day before the draft.[6] Pace was picked by Rams as the first offensive lineman since Ron Yary in 1968 to be drafted first overall.

St. Louis Rams

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 1998, Pace started 16 games at left tackle and was named Pro Bowl alternate[1].

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 Rams' offensive tackle was named to the Pro Bowl since Jackie Slater in 1990.

In the 2000 Season, Pace earned second consecutive Pro Bowl invitation, starting all 16 regular season games and 1 playoff game. Pace was anchor of offensive line that helped offense produce most passing yards in NFL history, playing in 1,006 of possible 1,013 offensive plays (99.3 percent), second highest total on offensive line[1]. Pace was one of three Rams’ offensive linemen (C Andy McCollum, RT Ryan Tucker) who were not penalized for holding[1].

In 2001, Pace started every game for fourth consecutive season. He played in 100 percent of offensive plays, joining Adam Timmerman as the only Rams to play in every offensive play. He started all 3 playoff contests, the St. Louis Rams claimed the NFC West title and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVI falling to New England Patriots, 20-17. He earned third consecutive Pro Bowl invitation[1].

In 2002, despite missing six games due to injury (three to calf injury games 4-6; three to hamstring games 13-16), Pace earned fourth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation[1]. In 2003, Pace started all 16 regular season games and 1 playoff game, he helped the Rams’ offense to rank second in the NFL with an average of 27.9 points a game. He earned fifth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation as the Rams claimed their third NFC West title in five years[1]. .

Pace was voted to seven consecutive Pro Bowls from the 1999 season, his third season in the league, to the 2005 season. Pace's blocking assisted the Rams to a championship win in Super Bowl XXXIV and a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXXVI.

In 2004, he started all 16 regular season games at left tackle and both playoff games. He was tne of three linemen to start every game (C Andy McCollum, G Adam Timmerman) and blocked for an offense that ranked eighth in the NFL (third in the NFC) in first downs (321)[1]. Pace helped Rams convert 13-of-16 fourth down attempts, second highest fourth-down conversion percentage in the NFL (68.4%). He arned sixth consecutive Pro Bowl invitation.

In 2005, he earned seventh consecutive Pro Bowl invitation, tying him for fourth in Rams history, behind Hall of Famer DT Merlin Olsen (14), Hall of Famer G Tom Mack (11), and LB Les Richter (8). That season, Pace started all 16 games at left tackle, joining C Andy McCollum and G Adam Timmerman as only Rams linemen to start every game[1].

In 2006, Pace started all 8 games he appeared in until he left in the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks on November 12, 2006 after he tore his triceps, ending his 2006 season. He was placed on Injured Reserve in November 14[1].

Pace was injured during the Rams' 2007 season opener against the Carolina Panthers on September 9, 2007. Officials confirmed that Pace would be out for the entire 2007 season, severely jeopardizing the Rams' offense for the remainder of the season.

Pace was released by the Rams on March 10, 2009,[7] to save $6 mil. under the salary cap.[8]

Chicago Bears

Pace signed with the Chicago Bears on April 2, 2009. Pace started the first 11 games at left tackle in his lone season with the Bears in 2009 before sustaining a groin injury on November 29 in a loss to the Vikings. He later finished the year as a reserve behind promising 2008 first-round draft pick Chris Williams. He was released on March 1, 2010.[9]

Personal

Pace owns "Big O's Ltd" in his home town of Sandusky, Ohio. It is a family-friendly sports-bar located on W. Perkins Avenue. Pace likes to make appearances at his restaurant, occasionally signing autographs for his hometown fans. He also owns several homes in McArthur Park in Sandusky that he rents out to low income families. Orlando is also known for being a spokesman for "Our Little Haven “Safe & Warm” expansion project (1998)." He also donates five tickets to every home game for disadvantaged kids. He was spokesman for Diversity Awareness Partnership in St. Louis along with former Rams’ T Ryan Tucker in 2000. He currently resides in St. Peters, Missouri.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Chicago Bears bio
  2. ^ St. Louis Rams Roster: Orlando Pace. The Official Website of the St. Louis Rams. Retrieved 13 September 2006
  3. ^ Wagoner, Nick (Sep. 6, 2004).Monday Notebook: Pace Back in Fold The Official Website of the St. Louis Rams. Retrieved 13 September 2006
  4. ^ Reynolds , Jeff (May 10, 2006).Cover Boys. ProFootball Weekly. Retrieved 13 September 2006
  5. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (March 9, 1997). "With Manning Out of the Running, Pace Is the Jets' Man … or Is He?". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/09/sports/with-manning-out-of-the-running-pace-is-the-jets-man-or-is-he.html. 
  6. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (April 18, 1997). "Parcells and Jets Deal Quality for Quantity in Draft". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/18/sports/parcells-and-jets-deal-quality-for-quantity-in-draft.html. 
  7. ^ Rams release Pace, St. Louis Rams, March 10, 2009
  8. ^ Orlando Pace released by St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 10, 2009
  9. ^ Veteran tackle Pace among three players released by Bears

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Warren Sapp
Lombardi Award Winners
1995 & 1996
Succeeded by
Grant Wistrom
Preceded by
Jonathan Ogden
Outland Trophy Winners
1996
Succeeded by
Aaron Taylor
Preceded by
Eddie George
Big Ten Football MVP
1996
Succeeded by
Charles Woodson
Preceded by
Eddie George
Ohio State Buckeyes
Football Season MVP

1996
Succeeded by
Antoine Winfield
Preceded by
Keyshawn Johnson
1st Overall Pick in NFL Draft
1997
Succeeded by
Peyton Manning

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