'Old man Calvin' happy to catch a break

October, 23, 2013
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said he's OK with his decreased playing time this season. The 11-year veteran is playing approximately 78 percent of the defensive snaps this season, down from 94 percent last season, according to FootballOutsiders.com.

"I'm fine with it. I think the last couple of years I've been getting worn down toward the end of the season. Something me and Rex [Ryan] talked about," Pace said Wednesday. "I'm fine with it. I'm happy with it."

Pace, who will turn 33 on Monday, rarely left the field for the Jets last year, serving as an every-down linebacker and playing in all 16 games. This year, the Jets have made an effort to give him some plays off.

Sunday, Pace played a season-low 64 percent of the defensive snaps (49 of 76) in the Jets' 30-27 overtime victory over the Patriots. He had played approximately 85 percent of the snaps in four of the previous six games, while seeing the field for about 72 percent of the snaps in the other two.

The Jets released Pace in the offseason for monetary reasons before re-signing him, and with Quinton Coples' switch from defensive lineman to outside linebacker, Pace hasn't been called upon as often this year. He has 21 combined tackles and four sacks thus far, already surpassing his sacks total from 2012. He's also forced a fumble.

"As Quinton Coples likes to call me: old man Calvin," Pace said. "I'm not a spring chicken in this game anymore. I don't have to play every snap. We got enough guys to rotate to get me some plays off."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor



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