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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    An Oldie But A Goodie

    By Brett Knight | July 29th, 2007



    Isaac Bruce: The ageless wonder.

    Isaac Bruce is old.

    At least, thatís what the conventional media outlets would have you believe.

    Bruce, the Ramsí second round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, turns 35 this November. Heís lost a bit of his trademark quickness over the last couple seasons, but is he really that old?

    Bruce, who made a career out of an explosive first step and precise routes (especially his trademark quick slant), has earned a reputation as one of the greatest receivers of all-time, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl four times. He also ranks in the top nine in both receptions and receiving yards.

    Bruce is coming off one of his better seasons in recent history, climbing back over the millenium-mark one year after catching 36 passes in only 11 games.

    The fact remains, though, that to the pundits who dominate this industry, Bruce has already passed the mark where receivers generally begin their descent to retirement. So is there any hope for Bruce to buck that trend and continue to play at a consistently high level?

    Actually, yes, and you donít even have to go back in time to find proof. Bruce comes from a draft stacked at wide receiver, with players like Keyshawn Johnson and Eric Moulds in the first round, and Bobby Engram later on.

    Three players from that class, though, are in the same position as Bruce. All four can look forward to productive seasons in 2007.

    Marvin Harrison, truly a historical great who broke Herman Mooreís single season reception record by 20 in 2002, is actually almost three months older than Bruce. With Peyton Manning feeding him the ball, Harrison should be near his career average of 93 receptions (the all-time NFL record) this year.

    Eddie Kennison was the first round selection of your St. Louis Rams in 1994 and now is slotted as the Chiefsí top wide receiver going into camp. Though heís watched his stats jump around year by year (especially in the early part of his erratic career), Kennison topped 1,000 yards in 2004 and 2005, for a total of 3048 yards over the past three seasons. He also has averaged no fewer than 15.2 yards per catch since the 2001 season, proving he still has the legs to be a long ball threat.

    And finally, Terrell Owens, that enigma of a Cowboys receiver, may have been on a rollercoaster the last few years, creating a contract controversy with the Eagles, overdosing on hydrocordone, spitting on Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall and saying some not-too-nice things about former coach Bill Parcells. But last year, in leading the league in touchdown receptions for the third time, Owens confirmed that heís still an effective on-field presence.

    All four have seen their skills diminish slightly in their latest campaigns. Though for some unknown reason Bruce has taken the most heat of that group, all have had their play and their health questioned at times these last couple years. But old? I hesitate to call four receivers who are still playing at an elite level old.

    The moral, then, is donít trust everything you hear on TV. And more importantly, when dealing with special players, perhaps it is more appropriate to pay attention to the exceptions, rather than the rule. If theyíve been able to defy conventional wisdom for this long, thereís no reason to believe that theyíll start listening now.

    I expect Bruce to have another productive, if not mind-boggling, season, probably a line of near 1,000 yards on 60-70 receptions.

    And donít call him old


  2. #2
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    great post once again RW, we as Rams fans have been really spoiled in the wide receiver position over the last decade and even longer,Isaac Bruce is and has been the face of the LA/St.Louis rams,he has been a class act on and off the field,I cannot believe theres people out there who still say he won't make the HOF or at least on the fence.I have told my friend GC that I will be joining him in Canton when Marshall is inducted and I hope he will join me as will the other Clan members when they induct the greatest Ram receiver of all time Isaac Bruce.(first ballot I might add)

  3. #3
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    I've already got plans to be in Canton in 4 years (not 5 since the NFL didn't count last year) for Faulk. I may have to wait a while on Bruce, since he just keeps playing, and playing well!

  4. #4
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    Old my foot! :bash:

    Mr. Knight has got it right in his article: our Rams No. 80 may be have begun his "descent to retirement" but there is still much left in his play as a WR ... quality play, mind you.

    I agree on the expectations for Sir Isaac, i.e., achieving another productive season this year, perhaps bordering on the 1000 yrd mark with around 70 receptions. His experience along with the Rams passing mentality, mainly the Bulger / Holt / Bruce system, almost guarantees high numbers for both these receivers. Maybe now even on an easier platform (relatively speaking) now that Bennett, Leonard, and McMichael will support the cast and Jax having developed finer skills as a receiver as well.

    Top all of this with Class, that classy presence in the team of ...BRUUUUUUCE!!!

  5. #5
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Maybe now even on an easier platform (relatively speaking) now that Bennett, Leonard, and McMichael will support the cast and Jax having developed finer skills as a receiver as well.

    Top all of this with Class, that classy presence in the team of ...BRUUUUUUCE!!!
    THIS HAS 'GSOT II' WRITTEN ALL OVER IT! ITS GSOT ALL OVER AGAIN! GSOT BY ANY OTHER NAME! ASK NOT .... WHAT GSOT CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR GSOT!:imho:
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    Is Bruce what he was in his prime? No, but he doesn't have to be. He can still make it down field, but that's not what he is now. He's the perfect compliment to Torry, because he'll kill you underneath and then run after the catch. He runs precise, hard-cutting routes that will get him open and get him the ball.

    On a side note, after this year I would expect Harrison to step into the Bruce role in Indy, with Wayne being the go to guy and Gonzalez starting to take his own bigger share of throws.

  7. #7
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    How many more seasons you guys think he has left?

    When should we think of drafting another receiver? I guess it just depends on how many years he has left, maybe year after next? (09 draft)

  8. #8
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    I think he could play as long as Jerry Rice if we let him.

  9. #9
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    probably, but i wonder how long he can maintain this level of production.

  10. #10
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    Re: An Oldie But A Goodie

    Aging Ike would be the number 1 receiver on quite a few teams going into the 2007 season.

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