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  • Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    Bruce likely to say farewell to NFL on Sunday

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    31.12.2009


    There were times when Kurt Warner's or Marshall Faulk's star shone more brightly in St. Louis. The contributions of Rams players such as Torry Holt and Orlando Pace won't soon be forgotten, either.

    But if you had to pick just one player who truly exemplified the "St. Louis" Rams — the incredible highs and lows, and everything in between — how could it be anyone but Isaac Bruce?

    He was the last "LA" Ram to survive the franchise move to St. Louis — by years. He was the team's first Pro Bowler in St. Louis and only star in the early years here. And when the team's fortunes changed dramatically at the turn of the millennium, Bruce was in the thick of things.

    He always seemed to show in the big games. Be it his four-touchdown day when the Rams snapped their 17-game losing streak against San Francisco. Or his dramatic game-winning touchdown against Tennessee to win Super Bowl XXXIV.

    Bruce ran amazing routes. And even in his later years, his change-of-direction skills were unsurpassed. He was a fierce yet graceful competitor. But time catches up with even the most gifted athletes, and Bruce's time has come.

    It is all but a certainty that Sunday's game at the Edward Jones Dome will be Bruce's last as an NFL player. Bruce, 37, basically conceded as much Wednesday on a conference call with St. Louis reporters.

    "As far as this being my last game ... I'm probably about, I'll say, 75 percent sure," Bruce said. "But there's that 25 percent though."

    But those close to Bruce say he's much closer to 100 percent sure than 75 percent. How fitting, then, that in the 10th anniversary of the Rams' Super Bowl championship season, it looks like Bruce will close his career in the city where he spent 13 of his 16 NFL seasons.

    "I'm always excited to go back to St. Louis," Bruce said. "To go back to the dome. Be on that turf again. The fans. And see the employees that work for the Rams right now, that run that building. Just being in that atmosphere again. Seeing the banners that hang from the rafters, that's always exciting to me."

    Obviously, Bruce played a big role in many of those banners. All eight of his 1,000-yard seasons, all four Pro Bowl campaigns, and all but a relative handful of his catches and yards came playing for the blue and gold.

    When he saw highlights of the Rams wearing their '99 throwback uniforms earlier this season, Bruce said: "I got chills all over. ... Those were the colors I came in with. I think we should've never changed 'em."

    He has spent the past two seasons playing in San Francisco, but yes, Bruce still refers to the Rams as "we" on occasion. He still has a home in St. Louis, and will always have a warm spot for the city and its fans in his heart.

    "I just want to reiterate that I always loved the St. Louis Rams fans," Bruce said. "The fans have been there since we came in 1995. And they have been true to the football program and organization that's there in St. Louis. I've always admired the way they root for their team. And stand up for their team."

    And that holds true even on those occasions when they've booed the Rams — and once or twice even booed Bruce.

    "I always said this: The fans are included in the family that we create in training camp," he said. "They're included in that family. And the only person that's allowed to even say something close to being negative about family is family. And St. Louis fans have always been family to me and the rest of that organization as far as I was concerned."

    For a while this season, Sunday's game shaped up as a bittersweet finale for Bruce. After leading the ***** in catches (61), reception yards (835) and touchdowns (seven) in 2008, Bruce lost his starting job to Josh Morgan midway through this season. Bruce hasn't even dressed in six of the past seven ***** games.

    San Francisco coach Mike Singletary announced last week that he was shutting down Bruce for the rest of the season. But after some coaxing from the ***** wide receivers, Morgan among them, Singletary is shedding his role as gridiron Grinch.

    When asked if Bruce would play this Sunday, Singletary replied: "I think that's a good possibility."

    So the ultra-competitive Singletary does have some sentimental bones in his body, after all. Right?

    "In some ways," Singletary said.

    With more than 8,000 tickets available at the start of this week, Sunday's game is headed for a television blackout in the St. Louis area. So for the most part, the only Rams fans who will see Bruce's farewell game will be those in attendance at the dome.

    "He'll go down as one of the greatest receivers of all time," said Rams defensive end Leonard Little, Bruce's teammate for 10 seasons in St. Louis. "Obviously, he's a Hall of Fame player. He's proven that over the years."

    "I just stand and applaud everything he's done for this organization, and his career in the National Football League," said running back Steven Jackson, who spent four seasons with Bruce.

  • #2
    Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

    I'm seriously going to shed a tear when he retires, but I will not be able to see his last game... Sucks being deployed I really really want to see this game...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

      This guy is a true football player. Thanks for all of the memories, especially the 4 TD game against the Whiners in 99. That game was truly special. Class act all the way.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

        One of the best receivers Ive had the pleasure to watch and by chance happened to be on my team... classy guy I wish I could watch the game...maybe...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

          Bruce

          I hate to see him say farewell to the NFL, but at least it will be at a Rams game.
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bruce Likely To Say Farewell to NFL On Sunday

            Man, to see Bruce touches the heart. People may say Torry Holt was the number 1 receiver but we all really knew who green and warner wanted to throw to. There are a lot of great superbowl moments, but there are 2 moments I won't forget. The Mike Jones tackle known as "The Tackle" and the bomb down the field to Isaac Bruce, a play that would give us in St. Louis our first superbowl as The Rams.

            Touching moment, one of the best of all time, great guy, great player, and maybe his jersey can sit next to Marshall Faulks. Probably not, but it would be nice.

            The Greatest Show On Turf would've never existed without you Bruce, you will be missed. Give us one more touchdown catch and show us the good ol' Bob and Weave that got ya'll fined so many times lol.

            Comment

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            • r8rh8rmike
              Bruce, St. Louis Share Special Bond
              by r8rh8rmike
              Bruce, St. Louis Share Special Bond

              By Nick Wagoner/Senior Writer
              Posted Oct 27, 2010

              The love affair between Isaac Bruce and St. Louis started nearly from the day the Rams arrived in the Gateway City.

              In the 14 years that followed, that love only became more passionate, mutual and ultimately enduring.

              “I felt like the city adopted me and drafted me into their family,” Bruce said. “I kind of did the same thing with them. I felt like I was home for the second time in my life. We kind of had that mesh. We meshed together early in that 1995 season and it only grew from there.”

              On Sunday, that relationship becomes eternal when the Rams raise Bruce’s No. 80 jersey to the rafters of the Edward Jones Dome for reasons that go beyond his prodigious and prolific production on the football field.

              See, the bond between Bruce and the city of St. Louis goes well beyond first downs, touchdown catches and even Super Bowl victories.

              THE FIRST MEETING

              The initial meeting between Bruce and St. Louis came in 1995, the first year the Rams played in the city after moving from Los Angeles.

              Bruce was drafted by the Rams in 1994 and had spent one year with the team in Los Angeles. But Bruce knew, like many of his teammates, that a move was in the offing.

              Even as a rookie, Bruce had prepared himself for a new start elsewhere. While Bruce felt bad for the diehard Rams fans that were still around in the team’s final days in Los Angeles, the move to St. Louis had him excited about the opportunities it could provide.

              “I think when we first came to town in ’95; a lot of expectations were placed on us,” Bruce said. “Most of them were placed on us by ourselves. But just kind of knowing the history of the St. Louis Cardinals - the Big Red - that was there before we got there and football had gone away from that city for a long time so they were hungry. They were hungry for football and when we got there, it was a perfect match. It was our chance to stake our place and put roots down and we found what I believe was the perfect place.”

              St. Louis had been without football since the Cardinals picked up and moved to Arizona after the 1987 season. In the eight years that followed, St. Louis had endured numerous misfires in attempts to draw an expansion team.

              Football in the city was becoming a distant memory until team owner Georgia Frontiere teamed with local businessman Stan Kroenke and a host of others to build the Edward Jones Dome and bring the Rams to St. Louis.

              Finally, on Sept. 3, 1995, the Rams made their debut under the St. Louis banner at Green Bay. In one of the world’s most famous football venues, Bruce announced his presence with a sequence so scintillating that Rams fans couldn’t help but feel like it was love at first sight.

              In the second quarter...
              -10-28-2010, 01:38 PM
            • RamWraith
              Bruce's return only illustrates decline of Rams
              by RamWraith
              By Bernie Miklasz
              ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
              12/22/2008


              It's difficult to imagine how the day could have gone any better for Isaac Bruce.

              He pulled one from the "Meet Me in St. Louis" script and had himself a Merry Little Christmas, only a few days early.

              The greatest wide receiver in Rams history came home to the Edward Jones Dome and was hugged more than a department-store Santa. He embraced old friends, teammates, coaches, ushers, cops, parking-lot attendants, X-ray technicians, fans and media slugs.

              And Bruce was still a most valuable baller, catching six passes in the fourth quarter, one for a touchdown, to spark San Francisco's proud 17-16 comeback victory over the same old sorry Rams.

              The ageless Bruce, 36, made like Chuck Berry and came up with a couple of gold records to add to his collection.

              The seven receptions gave Bruce 1,001 for his career, good for fifth place in NFL history. Only Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Marvin Harrison and Tim Brown have caught more NFL passes than Bruce.

              And given Bruce's history of providing highly charged moments in this theater, it figures that No. 1,000 would go for a 3-yard touchdown. The haul cut the Rams' lead to 16-10 and let the home team know they were about to choke away another one.

              "You just had to do it that way," former teammate D'Marco Farr told Bruce after the game. "One thousand had to come on a big play, right?"

              There was more. Bruce rolled up 61 yards, pushing his career total to 14,936, or enough to breeze by Brown and into second place in NFL history. There's Mr. Rice, followed by Mr. Bruce.

              The fans serenaded Bruce after each reception and gave him an ovation for reaching the 1,000 milestone.

              "I could hear it," Bruce said. "It's just the die-hard fans of the St. Louis Rams, the guys who show up no matter what. I was humbled by it and I'm very, very grateful. I was pretty much speechless through everything that went on."

              It was a perfect day, right?

              Bruce's answer surprised me.

              Bruce was bummed out by the thousands of empty seats at the dome. The crowd was generously listed at 54,948. Take about 10,000 off that and you'd be accurate.

              "I would have loved to have seen the stadium filled to capacity," Bruce said. "I'm sure we go a few hours on I-70 West, the Chiefs aren't doing too well, but I guarantee you it's packed right now. I'd like to see the same thing in St. Louis. And not just be the type of front-running fans. Come out and support your home team. This is what you wanted. It is what it is right now, but it's all subject to change."

              There is some merit to what Bruce says. This could have Bruce's final game in St. Louis, but the marginal outfielder So Taguchi received...
              -12-22-2008, 05:42 AM
            • ramsbruce
              Bruce Still Hoping Rams Stay Put In St. Louis
              by ramsbruce
              By Jim Thomas

              Isaac Bruce's heart remains in St. Louis. He hopes the team remains there as well.

              "I like St. Louis a lot," Bruce said Sunday, during a training camp visit to Rams Park. "It became a second home. I do have ties in Los Angeles; I'm sure they're hungry for football. But St. Louis is where it is. We have roots here in St. Louis, so it's hard to dig up those roots."

              Bruce was in town on business, and when that happens this time of year he makes it his business to show up in Earth City.

              "This is just me checking in, scratching my football itch," Bruce said.

              Twenty years ago, Bruce was a member of the Los Angeles Rams when they made the move to St. Louis in 1995. He doesn't recall much fan support back then, nothing comparable to what he saw Sunday at Rams Park.

              "When it was totally in reverse, when they were talking about going to St. Louis when I was there, our training camps didn't look like this," Bruce said, looking around at the crowd of 1,263 taking in practice at the intimate Rams Park setting. "We didn't have fans coming out and supporting and anticipating a great team. And neither did we have a team of this magnitude on paper."

              Not unlike many of those fans, Bruce is looking for good things from the 2015 Rams.

              "We still have to play the games," Bruce said. "But we didn't have guys that were expected to play at a very high level before we were transferred out to St. Louis.

              "Hopefully, it'll change for us in a better way than it has been in the last couple years. You know what? I'm looking forward to an awesome year. An awesome year would be winning the division, which is always goal No. 1, and going to the playoffs."

              Bruce expects the defense, particularly the front seven, to be the "bread and butter" of the team, helping the offense by getting takeaways and forcing punts, and helping the secondary by pressuring opposing quarterbacks.

              He was not so much surprised that the Rams cut ties with Sam Bradford, than he was that Nick Foles came here via trade.

              "I saw him last year playing a couple times, I was kind of impressed," Bruce said. "I think the biggest thing we need right now is just for the guy to be there for 16 games. Some continuity there, some consistency there, that helps us."

              The Rams haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since Torry Holt in 2007, and the Bruce-Holt tandem has proven very difficult to replace. But Bruce does like what he sees in Brian Quick.

              "Honestly, I think Brian's well on his way," Bruce said. "I'm sure the guy's gonna see a lot of one-on-one coverage this year considering our approach to offense _ we want to run the ball, pound the ball. So you get a lot of opportunities one-on-one,...
              -08-10-2015, 12:56 PM
            • 01d 0rd3r
              Bruce may play final game in St. Louis
              by 01d 0rd3r
              SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Isaac Bruce's final NFL game might be back in the very place that he spent his most productive years.

              Mike Singletary said Bruce's fellow San Francisco ***** wide receivers approached the coach to say they wanted the 16th-year veteran to play Sunday at St. Louis in the team's last game.

              Bruce has been inactive the past five contests and for six in all for San Francisco. He said it would be special to play, but he doesn't want it to be an honorary thing.

              Singletary called it a "very good chance" that Bruce would be on the field. While Bruce said he hasn't decided for sure whether he will retire after the season, he expects to make an announcement soon.

              Bruce was a four-time Pro Bowl pick in his 14 seasons with the Rams.

              Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

              NFL.com
              -12-30-2009, 02:05 PM
            • RamsInfiniti
              Smile, because Ike (and Mike) still love us ....
              by RamsInfiniti
              Definitely a tough one to read, bittersweet for sure. Ike is such a class act ...

              Make sure you read this with an open heart, because if there is ever an athlete that will tell you the unbiased truth, it is Bruce ....




              Bruce and Martz are gone, but both feel a lasting connection
              LINK
              ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
              11/17/2008
              Bernie Miklasz

              SAN FRANCISCO — On days like this, after the latest immolation of the St. Louis Rams, it is difficult to resist the yearning for nostalgia and happy days.

              Except it is almost cruel to think of what the Rams used to be, and to consider how far they've fallen. They are barely recognizable.

              And so when Rams icon Isaac Bruce emerges from the tunnel at Candlestick Park, wearing the colors of the San Francisco *****, he is a ghost floating in our midst.

              And it's a surreal experience.

              Once upon a time Bruce ran into history for the exhilarating 73-yard touchdown that won Super Bowl XXXIV for the Rams. And that moment has never seemed so far away, so far removed from the present reality.

              Sunday, during his team's 35-16 rout of the sad-sack Rams, Bruce caught a 20-yard pass on a touchdown drive, drew a pass interference penalty to set up another touchdown and delivered crisp blocks for running back Frank Gore.

              If this was peculiar to watch from a St. Louis perspective, imagine how Bruce must have felt, playing his former team for the first time.

              "Yeah. It was strange," Bruce told me after the game. "Just watching guys run up and down on the field in the Rams uniform. All my friends. I had to catch myself a couple of times, because I was still cheering for Torry (Holt), still cheering for Marc (Bulger), hoping that they would still make plays. But of course, not too many."

              The Rams were pathetic for the second consecutive Sunday. They trailed the Jets at the half 40-0 last week, and were down 35-3 to the ***** at the half in this one.

              Even Bruce was pained by what he saw.

              "Part of me is still there," Bruce said. "Part of me will always be there. So I sympathize. But they have great character, and they'll get this right."

              Bruce opened up in a friendly interview after Sunday's game. Dumped by Scott Linehan and GM Jay Zygmunt in February, Bruce said he's still trying to sort out his feelings.

              "It's not easy to automatically disconnect," he said.

              Bruce insists he has no lingering animosity for Linehan (since fired) and Zygmunt.

              "Not at all," he said. "Bitterness and anger only blocks up the good things I believe in about folks."

              Bruce was a Ram for 14 seasons, the last 13 in St. Louis. He broke all of the major franchise receiving records, highlighted...
              -11-19-2008, 12:25 PM
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