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STEVE-O: Back After a Month of Sundays

Posted by jetsstaff on October 6, 2009 – 4:08 pm

Standing in the Jets locker room for Monday’s media period, we were all waiting for players to come out of their video study and corrections meetings. Most players rushed in to grab their belongings before hustling out. But one man seemed to be soaking in every minute in the locker room.

Calvin Pace.

It’s been a month since Pace has seen the inside of a locker room and it’s been killing him. Banned for the first four games for violating the NFL’s Policy on Performance Enhancing Substances, his first day to return to the Jets Training Facility at Florham Park was Monday and he was the happiest man in the building.

He was all to eager to share what time away from the game does to someone. It made him appreciate every aspect of being an NFL player. For some, the Monday film review is one of he harder days of the week, spent in classrooms reviewing what went right and wrong the day before. For Pace it marked his return to a defense that’s been having a lot of fun without him.

This defense was built to harass the quarterback and has been doing that rather effectively the first month of the season. Now they get their best pass rusher back. Pace was second on the team last year with seven sacks and there’s no reason he can’t surpass that mark in the 12 games he has left in the regular season.

His last four Sundays were being spent like most fans … on the couch with the family watching football. The days of the week were a little more rigorous. He spent one week in Las Vegas working with an MMA trainer to improve his hand speed, footwork and leverage. The outside linebacker playfully boasted that his ring record while in Vegas was a perfect 14-0, but it’s clear his training was meant to improve his football skills. Pace hopes the training he gained in the ring will make him a better pass rusher when he hits the field once again.

Pace says this experience humbled him. This past weekend humbled some of the Jets, too. So Pace is on the same page mentally right now. And physically he’s not been beat up for four weeks. Still, the time away made him reflect on how much he and maybe all the players need to appreciate the charmed life of an NFL player these days.

Back in the 1920s, football drew crowds because it was almost a novelty sport. Red Grange took the league by storm in that decade, making an astronomical $12,000 a game. That averages out to $2.3 million in modern era money. Ironic that Pace chose to train with an MMA fighter because like the MMA, football back then was a barnstorming tour of violent collisions meant to make the fans ooh and ahh. Since then this has turned into the biggest sport in America. This nation can’t get enough of the NFL, and Pace is one of the current players who gets that.

This week was a reality check for some Jets players who believed they were unbeatable. At least one Jet got a month-long reality check and is grateful for every minute spent on the field.

Posted in Steve Overmyer | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “STEVE-O: Back After a Month of Sundays”

  1. By scjoe on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    I hope that the return of Calvin Pace is a difference maker in this defense. The defense in general has been very good, no doubt, but they have not looked great against the run the last two weeks. With Miami coming up, and that silly wildcat, the run D has to show up big time this week. If you shut down Miami’s run game, you shut down Miami,Period!

  2. By Ira on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Thats right Pace learned a very hard lesson but he will be hungry and a beast. I disagree about some players believing they were unbeatable. On any given Sunday any team can win even the worse team gets one. But i do agree it was a reality check in a way and they will be better off from it. I expect them to play their best game of the year until now on MNF. GO JETS!!!!

  3. By BriGuyinFL on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Looks like we found a good running plan.Leon and Greene to the redzone. In comes TJ.Please move the twitter feeds to its own page.I really dont care to much about some of these views on life and if I did, I would subscribe to their individual feeds.I kind of feel like it is being force fed to me by being on the side of these pages.I would have thought they would have been gone with the “big news”

  4. By BriGuyinFL on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Back to football. Welcome back Calvin. It will be great coming into this game with the fish on a high after crushing buffalo. It will test us and we will find out how much we want it. I know that the fish will want this very badly and parcells will have them up. I am sure they think that we are overconfident and ripe for the pickings. Sanchize, you show em how you do it. have a great game.

  5. By Frank on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    The defense is not the problem. The offense is leaving a lot to be desired we have seen the same thing from Shotty every year the O goes into a funk for stretches during the season. He needs to do a much better job of spreading the field to counter the 8 men in the box. Unbelievably they let Sanchez check off on third and short and he went for the quick slants that he couldn’t make. This must stop

  6. By Frank on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Wish we still had Favre this team would be unbeatable. He was a major reason why our running game was so good last year. I said it repeatedly Tanwoody severly under estimated his impact in this area and did nothing to address it and now we are paying for it. The pass blocking is not very good and neither is the run blocking especially with our TE’s who are not helping at all.

  7. By jet80 on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    With Pace back Strickland & Lito this D will be unstopable against the phins.Believe theyll be better at the run D.Offense is still a problem with no real WR. Keller has been shut down almost all year and Stuckey decided to go on vacation.The O’s gameplan has become so predictable that my wife who just got into football this season knows the jets call on every play.Thats not good

  8. By Mike Jet vet on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Glad Pace is back now lets see how Mark & the Offence perform this week if they don’t pick it up on MNF it will be hard to get there momentum back . I had a Thought let coaches do laps when they mess up just like players .. Coaches must adjust the game plan when all else fails 1 of the jets biggest problems over the years.. Cmon Shotty have a plan B going in at all times

  9. By mark on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    I luv the jets & watch every game.
    But the problem they have is protecting the quarterback!!
    Sanchez was rushed on every play in the last game!!
    He didn’t even have 2 seconds for a play 2 develop!!
    Our o line is way overated!!
    We need to protect the quarterback better!!
    Farve was also hit so many times last year!
    Go Jets!

  10. By Row on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Pace is back with a sack attack. We actually have struggled in this category, one of the worst at sacking the QB in the NFL. (like it matters) I’m ready to see Henne right by the other Chad, and them have White try to beat us! This guy is a difference maker. I would take Miller over Drew Coleman at CB anyday, plus we need help at kick/punt returner.. Go Jets

  11. By attackD on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    I agree with those who put the finger on Schotty for last Sunday’s defeat. The defense is so dominant it’s a shame the offense doesn’t measure up. Schotty’s play calling is atrocious–too predictable, uncreative, inappropriate for the situation. Sanchez is not the problem, it’s the coaches on the O-side, including Callahan, who was supposed to a genius of a line coach.

  12. By vince si on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    with the combination of our first loss and getting calvin pace back, i can see our defense pitching a shutout against miami monday.coach rex hates losing,and so do our players.with chad henne at the helm we can really shut down that running game,get them in third and long and do what we do best.

  13. By Rick Roucoulet on Oct 6, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Randy, Immmm Baaaaaack! Here’s my annual bid to you for a segment similar to the (WHERE ARE THEY NOWS) I myself & im sure other fans would love to know what prior players are up to. Players such as Winston Hill, Al Toon, My all time fav Mo Lewis & even Browning Nagle lol. Soooo whatchu think?

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