As we’ve done in years past, we’re going to start up our Roster Countdown series of posts as we get ready for the regular season.
Background: Calvin Pace is quickly becoming the Roger Murtaugh catchline for this defense. While he’s never been a premiere pass-rusher, the pride of his play has been his work against the run. During his time with the Jets, Pace has been one of he league’s best edge-setting run stuffers in the league. According to Pro Football Focus, in 2010 Pace ranked 2nd against the run at the 3-4 OLB position and then ranked 4th in 2011. In 2012, Pace’s ranking dropped to 17th. After being cut by the Jets in February, the team re-signed him in the lead up to the 2013 NFL Draft as they readied for the NFL Draft.
2013 Projection: Pace The Jets head coach Rex Ryan said during the OTAs that he was happy to have Calvin Pace back becaue he is the “glue” of the defense and that the team would be “doing a lot of different things with him, we’re moving him all over the place.” It’s going to be interesting to see where Pace finds a spot with the defense. Likely he’ll play in sub packages and in some base situations, but maybe more than anything he’ll be a key piece of the team to help some of the younger guys like Coples and Sapp with what their roles and responsibilities will be on the field. Assuming Pace stays healthy through the summer, he’ll likely be on the roster and be used as another rotational player either on the edge or on the interior, where he’s been used frequently during the Ryan era.