Our friend Tyson Rauch recently sat down for an interview with NY Jets linebacker Calvin Pace. Tyson covers the Jets for TheExaminer.com.
Calvin Pace will be a force in 2009 ( www.newyorkjets.com)
Calvin Pace is a versatile linebacker that will play a major role in Rex Ryan’s new attacking style of defense. Recently the Jets linebacker took the time to answer a few questions.
Q: Looking back at the 2008 season, what were your thoughts watching your former team, the Arizona Cardinals, play in the Super Bowl?
Pace: On one hand, I was disappointed in the outcome of the Jets’ season because at one point I felt we were clicking as a team, and it was our year. Things didn’t work out for us though. On the other hand, I was really proud of Arizona because of all the adversity that a lot of the guys on that team have been through with the years of losing.
Q: From an individual perspective, what has been your primary focus this off-season?
Pace: My primary focus has been trying to digest the new defense program as quickly as possible and working on my pass rushing. I think I’ve come far from when I started my career in Arizona, but I really want to be one of those guys that people look to for a sack or when pressure is needed.
Q: With the hiring of Rex Ryan and his aggressive style, how do you think your game will change and possibly improve?
Pace: I think the addition of Rex Ryan will help me take my career to new heights. The reason I say that is he has proven to be able to put guys on the field at numerous positions to create match-up problems for offenses and has been able to look at a players’ strengths and take advantage of them.
Q: Have the veteran linebackers on the team taken on a mentoring role with Vernon Gholston?
Pace: The vets have definitely embraced Vernon and really have tried to encourage him just to go out and play without hesitation. There is a lot of pressure put on guys who are first round picks and sometimes people on the outside looking in don’t realize that there is a learning curve that’s way more difficult than college. That being said I think Vernon will get better every year and be a tremendous player.
Q: How do you think your game will change with the addition of linebacker Bart Scott?
Pace: The addition of Bart has basically allowed us to have a coach on the field as we are playing. He has played in Rex’s defense since he has been in the league so he has a higher comfort level than us who are newer to his defense style. It’s not just him though, its Jim Leonhard and Marques Douglas as well.
Q: Anything you would like to tell all of the Jets fans out there?
Pace: To all the jets fans, this is obviously a new year, and you guys will see a tough, physical brand of football that will be really exciting to watch. I know you guys will come out and support us with a lot of passion, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Thank you for your time Mr. Pace.
Off the field Calvin Pace’s community commitments are those which focus on inspiring children to live up to their full potential. He realizes the challenges facing today’s youth, especially those in low-income areas and wants to help them overcome whatever they feel stands between them and the accomplishment of their goals. “I want to show kids that professional athletes aren’t as far-removed from them as it may seem and that they too can accomplish their goals with determination and a strong work ethic,” says Pace.
Calvin feels that no matter what a young person’s goal is, he or she needs to be persistent and stay humble- even after they’ve seen their dreams start coming to fruition. “Go hard,” he says. “You can sleep all you want when you die.” He also wants young aspiring athletes to understand that most football careers are relatively short, so it’s important to make every moment on the field count.
Thank you Tyson. Stop by our forums and tell us what you think.