Bruce shows he's far from finished
He collects nine catches for 148 yards
ST. LOUIS - At age 34, Isaac Bruce is supposed to be in the twilight of his career.
If Sunday's effort against the Washington Redskins is any indication, the veteran wide receiver of the St. Louis Rams has plenty of miles left in his tank.
Bruce caught a season-high nine passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in the Rams' 37-31 overtime victory over the Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome, giving him his eighth 1,000-yard season.
"Unbelievable," said Rams coach Scott Linehan. "He defies Father Time. He had a look in his eye all week, I thought. He was pretty frisky all week. I think he sensed that he wanted to go out and play very, very well in the last home game.
"It's phenomenal how he still gets so open at his age. A lot of guys that age don't have it anymore. That's why he's a Hall of Famer in my opinion."
It was the third 100-yard receiving day of the season for Bruce, who rediscovered a place he hasn't been much -- the end zone.
Bruce's 10-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was just his third of the year and second in the last 10 games. He capped an eight-play, 85-yard drive by snaring quarterback Marc Bulger's pass in the back of the end zone at the 12:55 mark to tie the game at 7.
Bruce was originally ruled out of bounds, but the play was overturned by replay officials.
It was the 80th receiving TD of Bruce's career, passing Harold Carmichael and Hall of Famer Charley Taylor for 18th place on the NFL's all-time list for touchdown catches.
Bruce -- who left the dome immediately after the game to catch a flight and was unavailable for comment -- has caught 70 passes for 1,032 yards this season and is averaging 14.7 yards per reception.
He also continued his climb up the NFL's all-time receiving yards list, passing Andre Reed (13,198 yards) for seventh place. Bruce has 13,310 receiving yards in his 13-year NFL career.
"I think it just fuels the fire when people say that," Bulger said of Bruce's detractors who say he's too old. "Maybe that's the perception around the league, that you can play one-on-one against him.
"I know Torry (Holt) has been getting a lot of double coverage and Isaac has been getting a lot of chances to get one-on-one. I think after today, they'll be helping out on him."
Bulger, who completed 25 passes for 388 yards and four TDs, sensed Bruce was in for a big game after his first reception.
"He's a streaky guy," Bulger said. "Not that he ever gets cold, but when he gets the ball more, he seems to get in a groove. Once I hit him on the post over the middle, I knew that he wanted the ball."
By Rod Kloeckner
For more information on the Isaac Bruce Foundation call 314-369-4074.