Calvin Pace: Fall of a Veteran, Rise of a Rookie
Not so much a fall as it was a short stumble.
Calvin Pace was suspended for four games due to breaking the league's substance abuse policy.
A response to the suspension was quickly released(as they always are)by the Jets:
"This is a situation that resulted from an over-the-counter dietary supplement that contained a substance that I did not know violated the league's policy. I am responsible for what I put into my body, and I should have paid closer attention to the league's guidelines.
"I regret that this has happened and apologize to my teammates, the entire Jets organization, as well as the fans. Hopefully, this does not distract from our ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl."
Didn't he learn his lesson from last year's debacle between Pat and Kevin Williams, the interior defensive tackles for the Vikings when they nearly missed a playoff game due to diuretics?
With how much money these individuals make and how important their bodies are to their career, you would think they could stop "accidentally" taking illegal substances.
Pace was brought in by the Jets in 2008, signing a six-year, $42 million deal that includes $22 million in guaranteed money.
He was worth nearly every penny in his freshman campaign with the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.
(I can't help myself. That is hands down the greatest chant in sports.)
He was second on the team in sacks with seven, he lead the team in tackles for a loss with 12, forced five fumbles, and recovered four.
Rex Ryan came to the Jets with lips watering.
Long known for his work with the top notch line backing corps of the Ravens, Ray Lewis and Bart Scott to name a few, Rex Ryan couldn't wait to transform Pace into one of the league's premier outside rushers.
Now he is impatiently searching for ways to transform this defense into one of the league's best without him.
The early replacement candidate for Pace is last year's highly touted rookie, Vernon Gholston.
Ryan has already experienced transforming a college defensive end into a star outside linebacker during his work with Terrell Suggs.
While Gholston lacks Suggs' tremendous pass rushing skill and nose for the ball, he has similar tools to Ryan's former pupil.
It's a shame none of those tools came out of the shed last year.
For the most part, only two other options have arisen from the Jets' mini camp:
Willie McGinest and Pace's depth chart back-up Marques Murrell.
Let's just say Jets fans are not too enthused.
As we've seen over the past years, the NFL isn't too high on letting 1st round picks go to waste; so it is safe to assume Gholston will be getting the nod coming into the season.
Either way, Rex Ryan will be earning his lucrative contract this year.
He just might have to work harder than he intended.
The New York media isn't keen on three-year plans.
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