What does the 2012 season hold for Calvin Pace? Brian Costello addresses Calvin Pace and his role what just what kind of a year is ahead of him. Pace could play a critical role in the changes taking place in the Jets defensive scheme in 2012.
I don’t think any player is going to be more affected by the Jets defensive shift to four-man fronts than Pace.
If the Jets play a true 4-3, Pace will be lining up off the line of scrimmage as a standup linebacker. The Jets also plan on using an “under” front where Pace is on the line of scrimmage alongside four defensive linemen. In this defense, Pace should be able to get to the quarterback more.
The Jets won’t likely play a 4-3 exclusively, they’ll shift their formations to match the situations. But based on Costello’s criteria, I’d agree Pace will be the most affected. Bryan Thomas and Bart Scott will likely see less time on the field due to the 4-3, so they are affected in a different way. Pace is versatile enough to do anything from play defensive tackle and stretch potentially as far as to a 4-3 OLB role … though I think he’ll stay more in his lane as a 4-3 DL / 3-4 OLB type.
Costello goes on to note that Pace is likely in his last season with the Jets … and he’s probably right. Pace is extremely versatile, a great edge-setter and good run-stuffer, but it’s hard to justify the price tag he commands at this point for performance that doesn’t include the amount of pressure they need someone in his role to create on the QB.