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News » St. Louis Rams Inside Slant 2008-12-18

St. Louis Rams Inside Slant 2008-12-18

St. Louis Rams Inside Slant 2008-12-18
Last season, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre broke the NFL record for career touchdown passes on Dec. 16 in St. Louis.

This week, more milestones could fall from a visiting player, but this time it's one familiar with the surroundings.

49ers wide receiver Isaac Bruce, who spent his first 14 seasons with the Rams before being released this past offseason, needs just six receptions to reach 1,000 for his career and 60 yards to pass Tim Brown for second place on the all-time yardage. Bruce enters the game with 14,875 receiving yards.

Adding to the intrigue is the fact that former Rams coach Mike Martz is the offensive coordinator.

Asked what it would mean to reach those totals in St. Louis, Bruce said, "It'd be a tremendous feat; something I'm anticipating this week, going ahead and getting that out of the way, so we can finish that game and finish this following game vs. the Redskins."

On reaching 1,000 receptions, Bruce said, "Well, not many guys have done it and I guess you can count on your one hand or my one hand, the guys that have obtained that task and who has 1,000 catches in this league. It's a unique number because it set the standard when the first guy did it, Mr. (Jerry) Rice and then a couple guys came after him and it's kind of a unique number for a guy to have 1,000 catches in a career."

As for simply walking onto the field for the first time as a visiting player, Bruce said, "I don't have any idea (how I'll feel), but I'm sure it will be different from the standpoint of walking down the visiting team's hall, coming from the busses and seeing many of the ushers that I became friends with, the doctor in the x-ray room, I'm pretty good friends with him and standing on the sideline. The biggest thing will just be dressing in the visiting locker room. I think I've only been in that locker room probably twice in the years that I spent there in St. Louis, so that'll be different."

The Edward Jones Dome will likely be a sea of Bruce jerseys. When coach Jim Haslett was asked about the warm welcome he will probably receive, he said, "I don't blame them; I love Ike. I think the guy's a great competitor; he was a heck of a football player for this franchise for a long time. Still has a lot of juice left in him. He's doing a great job for their team. The guy lines up at a number of different positions, he's a good blocker. To be honest with you, Ike deserves everything he gets."

When asked if Bruce is Hall-of-Fame caliber, Haslett said, "I think he is. I think Ike's a great football player, still is. Great guy too, I want to say that too. He's a great person. What little time I spent with him the two years that we were together and playing against him all those years. You don't get too many guys like him that come around."

Quarterback Marc Bulger considered it "an honor" to have played with Bruce. Said Bulger, "Him and (wide receiver) Torry (Holt) were the guys that I had for the first 6-7 years of my career. They were just reliable and true professionals. They knew what it meant to be a true professional. They worked really hard and that is all I knew for the first part of my career. For me, it was an honor just to play with them because they are two Hall of Fame guys. Obviously, Isaac is a little bit older so he taught Torry a lot so his resume is something that is really impressive. It is just an honor to have played with him."

49ers coach Mike Singletary hopes Bruce can reach those milestones in St. Louis. Said Singletary, "I think that any time a receiver has a chance, or any great player has a chance, to do something special particularly, and I'm sure he has a lot of friends, a lot of former teammates, a lot of memories in that place. Certainly, I'm sure it would be very meaningful to him."

Finally, Haslett was asked if had been the head coach, would he have fought to prevent Bruce's release. Said Haslett, "I'm going to stay out of that, but I don't think you can have enough good players on your team. He's a good football player."

SERIES HISTORY: 118th regular-season meeting. Rams lead the series, 60-55-2, but lost earlier this season in San Francisco. The Rams' home win over the 49ers in 2006 is the team's only home division victory since 2005.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 18, 2008

Anthony Becht Name: Anthony Becht
Position: TE
Age: 30
Experience: 9 years
College: West Virginia
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