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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Will this be Bruce's last home game for Rams?

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Dec. 20 2007

    On a night when the Rams honor running back Marshall Faulk, Rams fans might be
    saying goodbye to wide receiver Isaac Bruce.

    The longest-tenured current pro athlete in St. Louis, Bruce has been the face
    of the franchise since the Rams moved here from southern California in 1995.

    Bruce is the lone remaining "L.A. Ram" on the roster, and has held that
    distinction for years, having broken into the NFL in 1994 — the franchise's
    last season on the West Coast.

    Bruce was the first "St. Louis" Ram to earn a Pro Bowl berth, doing so in 1996.
    And he caught the winning touchdown pass from Kurt Warner in the Super Bowl
    against Tennessee, to conclude the 1999 season.

    But Bruce, 35, is due $5 million in 2008 — the last year of his current Rams
    contract. Of that $5 million, $3 million is base salary, and $2 million comes
    in the form of a roster bonus due the first day of the league year in March.

    Two years ago, the Rams did what was then the unthinkable, releasing Bruce when
    unable to reach agreement on a contract extension before a $1.5 million roster
    bonus was due.

    After just four days without a contract, Bruce returned to St. Louis by signing
    a five-year, $15 million deal. The new contract came at a cost, however,
    because Bruce received $6 million in 2006 instead of the $8.1 million he was
    due under the old contract.

    With the $2 million roster bonus due this March, Bruce and the Rams are fast
    approaching another crossroads.

    There's no doubt that coach Scott Linehan, who inherited the aging remnants of
    the "Greatest Show on Turf" when he replaced Mike Martz, respects Bruce as a
    person and a football player.

    "It's incredible what Isaac's been able to do in his career," Linehan said.
    "I've always said it's because he is a true professional. He takes care of
    himself. He gets himself ready to play each week. ... He shows up for work
    every day. He works extremely hard — as if he were in his first year, not his
    14th."

    But as the 2007 season has progressed, the steady signal from Rams Park is that
    the team wants to get bigger, faster, and younger at wide receiver. As a
    result, tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers could be Bruce's last
    home game as a Ram.

    When the topic was brought up a few weeks ago, Bruce laughed and shrugged off
    the possibility of this being his last season in St. Louis.

    "Then, I'll just go play for Mike Martz" in Detroit, Bruce said.

    But surrounded by a surprisingly large number of reporters and television
    cameras Tuesday, Bruce wasn't laughing when asked if he thought this might be
    his last home game as a Ram.

    "No. Not at all," Bruce said.

    There was a pause as reporters waited for Bruce to elaborate. But Bruce only
    added, "Next."

    As in next question. Make no mistake, it is important to Bruce to finish his
    career as a Ram.

    "I was born in this family, and I want to (go) out a Ram," Bruce said.

    Through 14 games this season, Bruce has 46 catches for 607 yards and three
    touchdowns.

    He is on pace for his second-lowest totals for receptions and reception yards
    since 1998, when he played in only five games because of hamstring problems.

    This season, Bruce missed the Arizona and Baltimore games because of a
    hamstring injury, and part of the Dallas game as well. Bruce still does some
    amazing things on the football field. Every now and then on the practice field,
    he'll do a standing back flip.

    He can still turn cornerbacks inside out with his quickness and his moves. What
    Bruce doesn't do as well as he used to is outrun defensive backs once he
    catches the football.

    Ever the optimist, and self-confident as ever, Bruce expects his numbers to
    return to normal next season.

    "I just ask for more opportunities," Bruce said. "I understand we had a lot of
    injuries in our offensive line, and at times we had challenges protecting Marc
    (Bulger). If everything's back to normal, Big O's (Orlando Pace) back, Marc's
    back, everyone is full strength — same numbers."

    Bruce should post a very meaningful number tonight against the Steelers. With
    just 22 reception yards, he moves past James Lofton into the No. 3 spot on the
    NFL's career list.

    Bruce enters the game with 13,983 career reception yards; Hall of Famer Lofton
    has 14,004.

    Asked about the significance of the milestone, Bruce replied: "It will mean I'm
    No. 3, and I'll be looking forward to being No. 2."

    But it will take another season for Bruce to surpass Tim Brown's 14,934 yards
    for the No. 2 spot. A season that may not take place in St. Louis.


  2. #2
    THoltDaBest81's Avatar
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    Re: Will this be Bruce's last home game for Rams?

    I cannot imagine the Rams will get rid of Bruce after this season. We already lost Curtis and McDonald who were very exceptional. Bruce has the most experience out of all Rams recievers and I think we could use experience in the future.

  3. #3
    jkramsfan Guest

    Re: Will this be Bruce's last home game for Rams?

    sorry to say but it comes down to the mighty dollar and if the Rams will do the right thing which is pay Bruce the 5 million,thats nothing for someone who has done as much for this organization as he has. for a team that is suffering at the box office and struggling with the fan base, getting rid of an all time favorite and the face of the francise for that amount of money would be stupid,he is still very productive when called upon.it would be a very sad day if Ike is not brought back.

  4. #4
    itsguud's Avatar
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    Re: Will this be Bruce's last home game for Rams?

    rams suck... giving up on Bruce won't change that. Giving up on Losehan, however...

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