Bruce feels good and ready to go
Dec. 28 2006
At the age of 34, St. Louis Rams receiver Isaac Bruce is saving his best for last.
Bruce had season highs with nine receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown in last week's 37-31 overtime win against Washington on Christmas Eve. The game marked his 42nd 100-yard receiving game and third this season.
Bruce's touchdown was a 10-yard reception, the 80th of his career. That ties him with Carolina's Keyshawn Johnson for 18th in career touchdown catches.
Bruce said Thursday it was just another game for him. Never one to tout his own accomplishments, the 13-year veteran spun his performance into something for the Rams.
"When opportunities present themselves, I take advantage,'' said Bruce, who has 70 receptions and 1,032 yards this season. It's the eighth time he has passed the 1,000-yard mark. "It was a great game and I'm happy it turned out our way.''
So was Rams' first-year coach Scott Linehan.
"Unbelievable, he defies Father Time,'' Linehan said of the four-time Pro Bowler. "It's phenomenal how he's still able to get open at his age. That's why he's a Hall of Famer in my opinion.''
The Redskins double covered Torry Holt, leaving Bruce in single coverage. The Rams exploited that situation.
"It was really obvious last week he was going to get some good looks and we took advantage of it,'' Linehan said. "Isaac has produced his whole career. That takes a lot of pressure off Torry and helps us get the ability to get good looks in the running game as well.''
Quarterback Marc Bulger says nothing Bruce does surprises him.
"He got over 100 yards and went over 1,000 for the year,'' Bulger said. "I think Isaac has proven he's a pretty good player in this league. When he gets in a groove, I know to keep feeding him. He finds a way to keep getting open.''
He is the all-time top 10 in career receptions and yards. With 883 catches, Bruce ranks No. 7 and he also ranks No. 7 with 13,310 yards.
Bruce is the lone Ram left from the team's days in Los Angeles. He's on his fifth head coach. He's seen and done just about everything, including catching the game-winning pass in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Despite the wear and tear of the long season, Bruce reacted strongly to a question about how he felt.
"It doesn't matter now, practice is over,'' Bruce said. "It's a regular 16-game schedule and I've done it 12 times before so no big deal.''
He'd rather focus on the Rams' task at hand against Minnesota than talk about himself.
The Rams (7-8) have a chance to make the playoffs with a victory in Sunday's game at Minnesota. St. Louis also needs the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers to lose to reach postseason play.
The Giants play Washington on Saturday night.
"If I'm not doing anything else or possibly reading, I may watch it,'' Bruce said. "I won't set aside any time to watch it.''
By Associated Press Sports
For more information on the Isaac Bruce Foundation call 314-369-4074.