By Jim Thomas
Monday, Dec. 17 2007

What if you reached a major career milestone and (almost) nobody noticed?

Late in the second quarter, Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce used a nifty
downfield fake to gain separation on Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson. The
result was a 37-yard gain down the right sideline that got St. Louis out of a
second-and-9 hole.

The 2-minute warning came one play later, so there was plenty of time for fans
at the Edward Jones Dome to be notified that Bruce, with that catch, had moved
past Marvin Harrison into fourth place on the NFL’s career list for receiving

But there was no announcement until nearly 5 minutes into the third quarter,
after a Green Bay field goal.

This was in stark contrast to what happened early in the fourth quarter, when
Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre eclipsed Dan Marino’s NFL record for career
passing yards with a 7-yard toss to Donald Driver. The game was stopped, an
announcement was made immediately, and a crew from NFL Films dashed onto the
field to record the moment as the football was taken out of play.

Granted, Bruce did not set a record; Favre did.

But after his catch, only Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and James Lofton are ahead on
the career list. Bruce finished with four catches for 72 yards Sunday and has
13,983 career yards. (Harrison has 13,944.) Bruce is 22 yards shy of passing
Lofton (14,004) for the No. 3 spot.

“When you think about it, third all-time, that’s pretty elite company,”
quarterback Marc Bulger said. “I’ve been here and played for (only) half his
career, but it seems like I’ve seen so many great moments because he’s breaking
all these records since I’ve been here.”

Stanley returns kicks

Two days after being promoted from the practice squad, rookie Derek Stanley
handled punt returns and kickoff returns for the Rams. The seventh-round pick
from Wisconsin-Whitewater didn't get much done — then again, it didn't appear
he had much blocking help.

Stanley's six kickoff returns averaged only 20.2 yards; the only Green Bay punt
of the day sailed into the end zone for a touchback. Stanley fumbled his third
kickoff return of the day, but Richard Owens recovered for St. Louis.

Coach Scott Linehan opted for Stanley as his return man Sunday instead of
Marques Hagans, who was on the pregame inactive list. So was return man Brandon
Williams, missing his second straight game with an ankle injury.

Simmer down

Among the Rams' season-high 13 penalties Sunday was an unsportsmanlike conduct
penalty against the St. Louis bench. More specifically, defensive coordinator
Jim Haslett, who went a good 10 yards onto the field to protest a pass
interference penalty against the Rams.

Haslett and Linehan were upset during several points in the game over some of
the calls — and non-calls — in the passing game. Linehan declined to comment on
the officiating after the game.


— Besides Hagans and Williams, the Rams' other inactive players Sunday were:
C-G Nick Leckey, OT Mark LeVoir, S Hanik Millgian, OT Rob Petitti (concussion)
and DT Claude Wroten.

— Oshiomogho Atogwe's two interceptions Sunday gave him seven for the season;
no Rams player has had more since Dexter McCleon's eight in 2000.