Calvin Pace’s looming size (6-4, 270) and quick feet (4.6 in the 40) make him the prototypical OLB in a 3-4 defensive scheme, though it took his former employer five years and three head coaches to finally figure it out.
Initially drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 2003, the team tried to use him as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme with limited success for three years. It wasn’t until the hiring of Ken Whisenhunt in his fourth pro season did Pace finally produce. Playing strictly OLB in Whisenhunt’s newly installed 3-4 defense, Pace had his best season setting career highs in tackles (98) and sacks (6.5) and looked like a new man. His best year also happened to be the final year of his contract in Arizona and prior to the 2008 season, Pace signed a six year, $42 million dollar contract ($22 million guaranteed) with the New York Jets. Though 2008 didn’t end well for the Jets, Pace again set career highs in sacks (7), forced fumbles (5) and scored the first TD of his pro career.
Is the best thing about the off-season not being asked so many questions about Brett Favre? Read more →