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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bruce wants an extension

    'Unbelievable' Bruce is still rolling along
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH


    His toe is hurting, his team is hurting, but Isaac Bruce's spirit remains unbowed. After 11 seasons in St. Louis, should we expect anything less from Bruce?

    If he hasn't seen it all since the Rams' franchise moved here in 1995, Bruce has seen most of it. Highs, lows and in-betweens. Pro Bowls, Super Bowls, and 4-12. Coaches and players come and go.

    For only the second time since 1998, Bruce won't be appearing in a playoff game this postseason. But he takes umbrage at the notion that there's nothing to play for in the final three games of the season.

    "I've got a lot to play for," Bruce said. "And this team has a lot to play for. So we don't look at it like that.
    "It's always about being a professional. Just because we're mathematically out of it, you just don't go and say, 'OK, I'm going to box it up right now.'"

    This hasn't been the easiest season for Bruce to do his job, in large part because of a painful turf-toe injury he suffered Sept. 25 against Tennessee. Bruce missed the next five games, returning after the bye week to play at Seattle on Nov. 13.

    Since then, he has caught 18 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns. Even with the injury, Bruce can still get down field, as evidenced by his 16.2 yards per catch over the past five games. But there's no doubt the toe still is bothering him. Dislocated toes can take forever to heal properly.

    Bruce doesn't like talking about injuries. It's almost as if he's denying their existence - at least in his mind - by doing so. So when asked Wednesday if the toe injury was behind him, the answer was typical Bruce: "When I get out on the field, I put it behind me."

    Bruce's name hasn't appeared on the injury report for weeks now, but the toe isn't 100 percent. Interim head coach Joe Vitt concedes as much when he says Bruce "is playing a little dinged right now, and that's a credit to him."

    Dinged or not, Bruce seems to set another career milestone every time he steps on the field these days. Last week against Minnesota, Bruce moved into 10th place on the NFL's career receiving list with 12,181 yards. He's the only active player on the list, although Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison (12,177) and Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith (12,100) are nipping at his heels.

    On Sunday against the Vikings, Bruce also became the 14th player in NFL history with 800 receptions. Among active players, only Harrison (917), Smith (847) and San Diego's Keenan McCardell (810) are ahead of Bruce's 804 catches.

    For those who think Bruce is ready to be put out to pasture at age 33, here's some food for thought. He is more than three years younger than Smith; nearly three years younger than McCardell; and nearly three months younger than Harrison.

    When asked about his play this season, Bruce said, "I'm always enthusiastic about playing. I have no limits to my playing ability, so I feel like I'm doing great."

    Bruce feels he's playing as good as ever, even better than ever.

    "I say yes to that, and believe I get better every day," Bruce said. "It's easier to watch coverages now. It's easier for me to anticipate coverages now. And releases off the line of scrimmage, back in Year 4 and 5, that was hard for me to do. I couldn't do it. So with the coaching I've been getting from Coach (Henry) Ellard and Coach (Mike) Martz, it's benefited me tremendously."

    Ellard is the Rams' wide receivers coach.

    After this season, Bruce has one year left on his contract. He said Wednesday he would like an extension this offseason.

    "I'm not pushing the issue, but I would like to," Bruce said. "I'm sure you'd like a raise, too."

    For his part, Vitt thinks Bruce still has plenty to give.

    "Why wouldn't he (want to keep playing)?" Vitt said. "I'm going to tell you something, there's not a corner in the National Football League that he still doesn't strike fear into. ... He's unbelievable."

    Of course, there's a strong possibility that any Rams football beyond this season won't involve Martz, who has long been one of Bruce's staunchest backers.

    "I think I've been here when he hasn't been here before," Bruce said. "I think I can manage. I'll manage."

    He's been able to manage through everything else. Perhaps he can manage long enough in St. Louis to reach 1,000 career catches, a plateau reached by only three players so far in league history.

    "Two thousand," Bruce says, always aiming high.

    Most career NFL receiving yards

    1. Jerry Rice----22,895

    2. Tim Brown---14,934

    3. James Lofton--14,004

    4. Cris Carter----13,899

    5. Henry Ellard---13,777

    6. Andre Reed---13,198

    7. Steve Largent--13,089

    8. Irving Fryar---12,785

    9. Art Monk-----12,721

    10. Isaac Bruce-12,181


  2. #2
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    give him an extension keep him as a ram and he will end up at #2 alltime receiving yards.

  3. #3
    ramhard's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    ....and nearly three months younger than Harrison.
    Wow, for once real data! This surprised me. I had been writing Bruce off also, had no idea with this comparison. Sign him to a reasonable 3 year deal with manageable cap numbers if he tails off after 2...

    I'd even stretch a bit to have Bruce retire as a Ram...

  4. #4
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    Sign the man and sign him NOW.

  5. #5
    VegasRam's Avatar
    VegasRam is offline Ram MVP
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    What he said.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  6. #6
    AJD45 Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    Quote Originally Posted by ramhard
    Sign him to a reasonable 3 year deal with manageable cap numbers if he tails off after 2... I'd even stretch a bit to have Bruce retire as a Ram...
    Agreed, with the emphasis on the last thing you said, because three years is too short to spread the cap hit for the dollar amount he deserves. I'd say 5 years would work. Bruce IS the Rams to me, I would be very surprised and insulted if the team did not take care of him to let him end out his career a Ram.

  7. #7
    Yodude's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    I would be very surprised and insulted if the team did not take care of him to let him end out his career a Ram.
    I'd be very dissappointed...but surprised? No.

    There's nothing that this joke-of-a-front-office-pretending-to-be-knowledgable-football-people could do at this point that would surprise me.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  8. #8
    Rampage39 Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    dude Ike is Mr. Ram. a good three year extension after this season would do well.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    And extension and restructuring so we can go after some quality FA's and give the Rev. Ike another SB ring.:clanram:
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
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  10. #10
    CanadianRam! Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    hopefullly we can restructure his contract and let him retire as a ram, but as yodude said, anything is possible with this FO.

  11. #11
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan
    give him an extension keep him as a ram and he will end up at #2 alltime receiving yards.
    Agreed. 4 more years would get him 1,000+ yards each year since were a passing team. HOF Material right away if he get an extention!

  12. #12
    maineram Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    He's still loving the game and seems to be an all around team guy. Sign him to retire a Ram with a cap friendly deal. As far as getting his 1000 yds each year ? Let's wait to see if Martz is replaced before saying we have a pass happy offense. Even if he wasn't our main guy teamed with Holt, he'd be a heck of a slot reciever to wind down his career here.

    Maineram -

  13. #13
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    Assuming the extension lowers his cap number for 2006, I'm all for it. Just change the salary into bonus money spread out over a 3-4 year extension, and it's done.

    However, if something can't get done for whatever reason, I don't think the Rams can afford to spend $6.5M in salary on Bruce going into next year. It's either extend/restructure or goodbye Isaac.
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  14. #14
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    give him an extension keep him as a ram and he will end up at #2 alltime receiving yards.
    agree! 100%

  15. #15
    talkstoangels61 Guest

    Re: Bruce wants an extension

    He still has alot left in his tank!!!!!...............Sign him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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