Bruce interview: a blast from the past
By Bill Coats
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Not much to report from Rams Park today. Here are a few snippets:
*CB Ron Bartell skipped practice after bruising his lower ribcage on the final play of Wednesday’s practice. Coach Scott Linehan said he expected Bartell to be back on the field Friday and to be fine for Sunday’s game at Seattle.
*DE Leonard Little and G Jacob Bell, both nursing hamstring injuries, were a bit more active in practice Thursday. Linehan estimated both were 50-50 for Sunday.
WR Isaac Bruce, the last Los Angeles Ram, had a big game Sunday for the ***** in their 33-30 overtime victory at Seattle. Bruce, released by the Rams in the offseason, caught four passes for 153 yards.
Ike is still breaking in the Bay Area media. Bruce always has liked to play games with reporters, intent on keeping them off-stride. Here’s an account of an interview of Bruce by longtime NFL writer Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Thought you might enjoy a Bruce redux:
Q: How do you feel about how you’re fitting in with this offense? Do you feel good about the way things are going for you?
Bruce: “Yes, sir.”
Q: Was there ever any doubt after the first game, being held without a catch?
Bruce: “That wasn’t my first time being held without a catch. So, no doubt.”
Q: What was there in Game 2 that wasn’t here in Game 1 for you?
Bruce: “I just didn’t get the football in Game 1. In Game 2, I got the football. That’s the only difference.”
Q: There was nothing differently, defensive-wise, that they were doing?
Bruce: “I can’t even remember Game 1, honestly.”
Q: Do you remember the play when J.T. had the ball tipped out of his hand? He said he had you in the end zone for what he thought would be a touchdown. Did you feel the same way about that?
Bruce: “Yes. Yes, I do.”
Q: Isaac, when was the last time you were able to get down the field so consistently, averaging 38 yards a catch?
Bruce: (Sixteen-second pause) “Atlanta, ‘96, I think. ‘97, something like that.” (Amazingly, Bruce did have 233 yards on 10 catches against Atlanta in 1997.)
Q: Early in your career, huh?
Bruce: (No response).
Q: How do you feel now compared to ‘96, ‘97 at the height of the Rams offense. How do you compare to the way you were in the late ’90s?
Bruce: “Hmmm, I’m not big on comparisons, but I feel better, stronger, quicker, wiser. And, uh, I’m not big on feelings, either.”
Q: Does that just show the dimensions of this offense that you guys can get down the field like that? Usually, you’re in the intermediate routes, but you showed your dimension.
Bruce: “I don’t think that was a new dimension. If you go back and watch some of the past game film of this offense, it’s been down the field quite a bit.”
Q: What does O’Sullivan do so well to make this offense, through two games, run as well as it has?
Bruce: “What does he do? Ah. He’s coachable, he listens and then he applies what he hears.”
Q: How do you like dealing with the media?
Bruce: “I love it.”
Q: You do? What do you like most about it?
Q: It doesn’t look like you’ve made a huge effort since you’ve been here to deal with the media. Is that your quiet personality?
Bruce: “Not at all. I speak when I have something to say. So . . . “
Q: When do you generally have something to say?
Bruce: “When I’m asked a question I can answer.”
Q: You said J.T. is coachable and he listens, are you ever the one who’s coaching him up on the offense, given your background with the offense?
Bruce: “No, not really. He has enough coaches coaching him up, so he doesn’t need my help.”
Q: How about some of the younger receivers, like Josh Morgan and Jason Hill?
Bruce: “I’ll tell you what. The biggest way I learned was just watching and watch other guys I wanted to be like. And I didn’t have to ask them too many things. I just did what they did.”
Q: Can you talk about the rapport you’re developing with J.T. on the field. You had limited opportunties together during training camp. How is that coming along?
Bruce: “Making progress.”
Q: Is it a trust issue between quarterback and receiver in this offense that has to be developed more than anything else?
Bruce: “Yeah, my job is to be where I’m supposed to be and don’t fool the quarterback.”
Q: As a receiver do you have to trust that the QB is going to put it there and that trust has to be mutual?
Q: And how is that coming along?
Bruce: “We’re making progress.”
Q: You don’t think it’s there yet, as well as it could be?
Bruce: “Making progress.”
Q: Can you elaborate on that progress a little bit?
Bruce: “Yes, I can. This week versus Detroit, I’ll elaborate.”
Q: You mean on the field?
Q: Last year with Frank Gore, he faced a lot of eight men in the box. What is this offense capable of doing if teams try to play the run against you guys?
Bruce: “It’s no limitations. Frank Gore is a wonderful back.”
Q: What have you seen from Detroit’s defense?
Bruce: “I haven’t watched much of them. In this next meeting, I’ll take a look. Unfortunately, you guys won’t be in here for me to give you my opinion.”
OK, we’ll come back tomorrow.
OK, Isaac, thank you.
Bruce: “You’re welcome. No problem.”
How can you not miss this guy???