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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Players feel Bruce's absence
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Mar. 29 2008

    It's not as if Isaac Bruce was a regular participant during the Rams' offseason
    conditioning program. He always preferred to do most of his offseason work on
    his own, usually away from St. Louis.

    Nonetheless, the start of the Rams' offseason program this week marked the
    first team function since 1993 minus the Pro Bowl wide receiver. Cut by the
    team at the end of February, and quickly picked up by San Francisco, Bruce no
    longer has a locker stall at Rams Park. His absence this week did not go
    unnoticed by Rams veterans.

    "Isaac's a soldier. Isaac's a future Hall of Famer," offensive guard Richie
    Incognito said. "I'm going to miss him dearly. I know speaking with some guys,
    we're all going to miss him."

    Several players expressed surprise at Bruce's release. But even at age 35, if
    it can happen to Bruce, it can happen to anyone.

    "That's the business side of it," cornerback Ron Bartell said. "We all know
    we're going to be released or cut one day — no matter who you are. When you
    have one of the greats get released, it's a reality check."

    As defensive end Leonard Little sees it, the fact that Bruce is playing for the
    rival ***** is even more surprising than his release from the Rams after 14
    seasons.

    "I can't really imagine him in a San Francisco uniform," Little said. "Even
    when we play them, I still won't believe it's him because he's been around here
    a long time. It's going to be really, really funny seeing him in that type of
    uniform."

    Bruce's departure leaves the Rams with only three players from the Super Bowl
    championship team of 1999: Little, wide receiver Torry Holt and offensive
    tackle Orlando Pace. It's four players if you count quarterback Trent Green,
    re-signed by the Rams this month after spending the past seven years elsewhere
    (Kansas City and Miami).

    Speaking of the dwindling number of '99 Rams, Little said, "It's a compliment
    to our play, the way we've stayed around the league so long. But this league is
    getting younger. We know that, so we've got to take advantage of all the
    opportunities we have in front of us."

    Green was with the Rams for only two seasons — 1999 and 2000. His preseason
    knee injury in '99 sidelined him for the rest of that Super Bowl campaign,
    opening the door for the emergence of Kurt Warner.

    Even minus Bruce, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the Super Bowl
    victory over Tennessee, Green hopes the remaining '99 Rams can show the younger
    Rams what it takes to win at the highest level.

    "Hopefully, we can inspire everybody here," Green said, "and try and get
    everybody focused on what the real goal is. And what the real work ethic needs
    to be."

    Interestingly, even after Bruce left St. Louis, he's doing something to help
    the club. A week or so after his Rams release, Bruce received a call from Green.

    "I asked him, 'What do you think about the locker room?'" Green recalled. —
    "'What do you think about the guys that are there? What do you think about the
    coaching staff? The defense? The guys on the offensive end?'"

    Bruce always has been known as a straight shooter. Green thought this might be
    especially true since Bruce had just been cut.

    "He was very honest and up front," Green said. "He had a lot of really positive
    things to say about the organization, and about the coaching staff, and the
    players. … He had a lot of influence in me wanting to come back."

    Unfortunately for Green, he won't be throwing any passes to Bruce in St. Louis.

    "I know Isaac wishes he could've worked something out here," Green said. "But
    (linebacker) Zach Thomas was released from the Dolphins, so it's a similar type
    thing. You understand with the way the (salary) cap is, and you understand the
    direction that organizations are going. I know Zach wishes he could've finished
    his career there."

    Thomas ended up signing with Dallas. As for Bruce, he doesn't figure to be as
    helpful to his former teammates when his ***** play the Rams twice this coming
    season.

    "Yeah, we will be getting up close and personal," Bartell said. "We'll have a
    battle."

    jthomas@post-dispatch.com | 314-340-8197


  2. #2
    Wolf's Avatar
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    I'd laugh if Bennett erupts for 1,300 yards and 12 Tds

  3. #3
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    I'd laugh if Bennett erupts for 1,300 yards and 12 Tds
    I think you should start looking for other things to laugh about... or prepare for a dull year.

  4. #4
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    I think Bennett will be filling the Morton/Parker/Randel El role and if history repeats itself, will be good for 40-50 receptions and 700 yards.

  5. #5
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Very unfortunate that he had to leave. Lets just hope our replacement (in the draft, not Bennett) is good.

  6. #6
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    His release STILL kills me, I just don't think about this subject to hard!!:\ but whiners week to me will be even harder this year!!

    steve:l
    "The breakfast Club"

  7. #7
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    I'd laugh if Bennett erupts for 1,300 yards and 12 Tds
    Why laugh? I would be thrilled if Bennett does that.

    It's still nice to know that Bruce is still a class act and gave Trent his thoughts on the guys/staff, don't you think?

  8. #8
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    I'm just saying...no one is giving Bennett a chance and they think we need to replace him to have success.

    People are judging him off last year with a terrible offense, being a slot receiver, and injuries.

  9. #9
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    I'm just saying...no one is giving Bennett a chance and they think we need to replace him to have success.

    People are judging him off last year with a terrible offense, being a slot receiver, and injuries.
    I wouldn't say nobody is giving Bennett a chance. Some of us are giving him a chance including myself. I said it in another thread, there is no way you can judge Bennett from last year because like you said he was injured and our offense was a write off.

    The bottom line is we all have to give him a chance because he is the #2 guy. Let's hope he can live up to his end of the bargain.

  10. #10
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    I have a little problem with one thing Green said:

    "I know Isaac wishes he could've worked something out here," Green said. "But (linebacker) Zach Thomas was released from the Dolphins, so it's a similar type thing. You understand with the way the (salary) cap is, and you understand the direction that organizations are going. I know Zach wishes he could've finished his career there."

    Comparing Zach Thomas to Isaac Bruce is silly. Isaac is a sure HOF'er and Zach Thomas will only get into the HOF if he buys a ticket

  11. #11
    AlphaRam is offline Registered User
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    I have a little problem with one thing Green said:

    "I know Isaac wishes he could've worked something out here," Green said. "But (linebacker) Zach Thomas was released from the Dolphins, so it's a similar type thing. You understand with the way the (salary) cap is, and you understand the direction that organizations are going. I know Zach wishes he could've finished his career there."

    Comparing Zach Thomas to Isaac Bruce is silly. Isaac is a sure HOF'er and Zach Thomas will only get into the HOF if he buys a ticket
    I don't think he was making HOF comparisons. The Dolphs losing Thomas is as big to Miami fans and it was for us to lose Bruce. I think Zach Thomas played in Miami for 12 seasons.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  12. #12
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    I'm going to miss him dearly. I know speaking with some guys, we're all going to miss him. -- R. Incognito

    Rather odd to hear Richie -- this big scrappy OL -- speak in endearing terms. ...But he's definitely correct in that everyone will miss Sir Isaac.

    :\

  13. #13
    Mooselini's Avatar
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Rather odd to hear Richie -- this big scrappy OL -- speak in endearing terms. ...But he's definitely correct in that everyone will miss Sir Isaac.

    :\
    Definately man. We're all devastated and want him back. But it's a business first and a sport second. Fans wont get it their way even if we wanted to. Still very unfortunate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
    I'm just saying...no one is giving Bennett a chance and they think we need to replace him to have success.

    People are judging him off last year with a terrible offense, being a slot receiver, and injuries.
    As for this post, Bennett has NEVER impressed me. I've never once thought about putting Bennett in a fantasy team or what not. He has never impressed me, which is why I speak so low of him.

    Sure, he had a bad year before, I give him that. Look at the years before, I think he's had one 1,000+ year. Even as Tennesee's receiver, he has never had an outstanding year.

    He has never put up Isaac Bruce numbers, and at this late in his career, I don't think he will....

    That's just my opinion.

  14. #14
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    I think the only good thing about releasing Bruce could be that it lights a fire under the teams butt. It'll make them realize "Wow, if Bruce can be cut, than I can."
    But it would have to light several fires for it to be worth it...

  15. #15
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    Re: Players feel Bruce's absence ..

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman View Post
    I think Bennett will be filling the Morton/Parker/Randel El role and if history repeats itself, will be good for 40-50 receptions and 700 yards.
    I'd say you're about right, mok. And that's about what we got from Bruce over the recent past, so that will at least maintain the #2 spot. Now if we can either find or develop a vertical threat & some consistency on the line, the offense can get back on track.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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