Isaac Bruce gave one of the more emotional retirement news conferences (although they all tend to lean that way) that one will see Wednesday. Bruce, who was brought back to St. Louis in a trade earlier this week so he could retire as a Ram, stood at the podium to collect his thoughts for nearly a full minute before he was even able to speak.
When he eventually was able to get the words out, Bruce thanked too many people to list, and he also spoke openly about his feelings toward the organization that drafted him in the second round in 1994 and was home for his first 14 NFL seasons. Known throughout the league as someone who doesn’t say too much, he again used some carefully chosen words.
“The moment I got here, I claimed ownership of this organization,” Bruce said. “I would never be too big not to clean up around this place, pick up a piece of trash, or I would never be too big — or too small — to do anything else needed by this organization. I always felt it was the greatest organization in the league, and I’d never do anything or say anything to tear down my own house with my words or with my hands.
“So whenever the subject came up about how the Rams were playing or how [bad] the offense was or how the defense was giving up too many yards rushing, I would always remove myself, because I didn’t want to hear that. I didn’t want to down or not speak life to what I was a part of. And I was a part of this organization.”
If there is a way to be a franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, yet be unassuming on the national level, one could argue Bruce managed that. But the Rams recognized Bruce’s value and announced before his Wednesday news conference that they will retire his jersey No. 80 during an Oct. 31 home game against the Panthers.
Bruce took a few questions as well, and he said not to be surprised if we see him in some type of football capacity in the future. The Rams’ official site posted some reaction some of his former teammates and coaches, which you can check out here.