Issac Bruce defines what it means to be the The Greatest WR on Turf
Canton- For former Rams great Issac Bruce his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was long overdue. Bruce was elected last year as part of the Class of 2020, finally breaking through in his sixth year of eligibility and after being a finalist four times. However, due to the pandemic, the enshrinement ceremony was postponed for Bruce’s class.
As catastrophic as last year's developments were, the man known as “The Reverend” was just as dangerous for NFL defenses. Throughout his tenure, the wide receiver became known for running precise routes and an infectious work ethic that earned him an astounding 1,024 receptions, 15,208 yards and 91 touchdowns throughout his career. Along with his video game numbers he also won a Super Bowl, was a four-time Pro Bowler and racked up eight 1,000-yard seasons.
However, when we talk about what truly makes a player Hall of Fame worthy we have to talk about their overall imprint on the game. When we think of some of the games greatest offenses many may come to mind. “Air Coryell” Bill Walsh’s “Westcoast Offense.” In modern day football the offense that really was a launching pad in this new era of football was the one that Bruce thrived in “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
The Rams were the anomaly that contributed to the rapid evolution of football. This high-powered attack was designed to get all five receivers out on pass plays and was based on timing. The quarterback was asked to throw to a particular spot, and it was up to the receiver to get there. For their efforts the Rams scored 526 points in the 1999 season; a team record was broken in 2000 when they scored 540 points. The Rams scored a total 1,569 points which were the most points scored by any team over three years.
When Bruce is asked how his Rams would stack up to the great offenses of today his response. “You put us in this era, I don’t think it’s fair,” Bruce said. “It wouldn’t be fair because we had guys who were not afraid to go across the middle of the field, make plays, run slants and be there for the next play to do the exact same thing. Just with the rule change, it’s totally different. I just think we would’ve — it wouldn’t have been fair.”
Bruce can also be credited in the way teams drafted certain wide receivers he wasn’t the biggest in stature weighing in at 6”0 188 pounds but his blue-collar mentality and natural ability made him larger than life and a key page in the storybook of the NFL. Sometimes in life it’s not about how long the journey takes, it's that you made it and made a difference along the way. And for Issac Bruce, being a key member of the most exciting game changing offense in history did exactly that and deserves his long-awaited place in the NFL Hall of Fame.