Rams ready to return to greatness

Updated: August 27, 2003, 11:27 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | NFL Insider
If the St. Louis Rams want to regain their place on the NFC throne, they'll need Orlando Pace to protect Kurt Warner's backside and to open holes for Marshall Faulk. Lucky for them that Pace ended his protracted holdout on Tuesday when he reluctantly signed his one-year, $5.73 million tender as the club's franchise player. Now the cast is set for a rerun of their former glory years.

"It feels really great just to be back, to get out here and practice," Pace told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It was big for me, and I felt pretty good, actually. Everybody was happy that I was back. Everybody seemed like they were ready to go forward and start winning some ballgames."

The mood around Rams Park was understandably upbeat because they realize Pace's importance to the team. Not to overinflate the role he'll play in any resurgence. As big a piece to the postseason puzzle as he is (and at approximately 345 pounds, big is an understatement), the most important players on the team are still Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner.