David Lehr | January 7th, 2019
Early NFL Career
For the 5th straight year, and 3rd as a finalist, Isaac Bruce is eligible for the Hall of Fame. A second-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Rams in 1994, Bruce quickly made an impact on the team, his first catch going for a 34-yard touchdown, and he ended up receiving multiple Team Rookie of the Year awards. In just his second year in the NFL, Bruce demonstrated what we all know now; the guy was a beast. He went for 1,781 yards (at the time, the second most receiving yards ever in a season) on 119 receptions and scored 13 touchdowns, in what was his best statistical season. He accomplished all of this with Chris Miller being the primary QB for the, at the time, St. Louis Rams, making those feats all the more impressive.
How Does His Resume Stack Up?
Isaac Bruce’s career numbers are staggering and may surprise many people. Playing with the “Greatest Show on Turf” has actually transformed how people remember him in a negative way because it’s easy to forget just how dominant he was due to Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, and Kurt Warner all being on the same team. This year, however, Bruce is clearly overqualified, and also the only receiver who is a finalist. He was the main cog for the Rams lone super bowl win in 1999, scoring the key touchdown in that game by hauling in a 73-yard pass in the 4th quarter. Not only did he have 14 phenomenal seasons with the Rams, but after he signed a 2-year deal with the 49ers, he led the team with 61 catches for 835 yards and 7 touchdowns, at age 36! For a receiver to have that kind of production as that advanced age is incredible, and nearly unheard of. When he finally decided to hang up his cleats, he had accomplished more than any receiver not named Jerry Rice, posting 1,024 receptions (7th all-time at the time of his retirement), 15,424 receiving yards (2nd all-time at time of retirement), and 91 receiving touchdowns (8th all-time at time of retirement) in 223 games played.
Will the 5th Time be a Charm?
I wholeheartedly believe this will be the year that Isaac Bruce gets to go where he belongs: Canton, Ohio. He has stiff competition, of course, with the likes of Tony Gonzalez and Ed Reed up for induction as well. However, Bruce not only won a Super Bowl, something Gonzalez was never able to do, but was also an integral piece of perhaps the best offense the NFL has ever seen. Add in what he was able to do for the 49ers at age 36, and Bruce had the longevity, consistency, and always the right attitude, to be a Hall of Famer in 2019.
Questions and comments?
Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images