ST. LOUIS (AP)—Isaac Bruce(notes) has become the first member of the “GreatestShow on Turf” era Rams to have his number retired.
The Rams honored the 37-year-old wide receiver before Sunday’s game againstCarolina, the crowd greeting him with chants of “Bruce,” just as they did inhis prime.
Dick Vermeil, the coach who led the Rams to the 2000 Super Bowlchampionship, was in attendance. So was Mike Martz, the offensive coordinatorfor that team and the coach when the Rams lost the 2002 Super Bowl to NewEngland. Martz is now offensive coordinator for Chicago but the Bears had a byeweek.
“He took a level of excellence and a standard he set for himself throughouthis career and worked toward that, a standard higher than anybody else’s,”Martz said during the ceremony.
“He is the standard of how that position is supposed to be played.”
About two dozen former teammates were on hand, too.
“If anybody should have their jersey retired where no one else can wear itagain, it should be No. 80 Isaac Bruce,” former tight end Ernie Conwell said.
Bruce thanked his coaches and teammates, and said the greatest moment of hiscareer was not one his catches but a teammate’s—Ricky Proehl’s catch againstTampa that won the NFC championship and put St. Louis in the Super Bowl.
Bruce was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round (33rd overall)in 1994 and spent 14 seasons with the team. He holds every major receivingrecord in Rams history, including most career receptions (942), career yardsreceiving (14,109) and touchdown catches (84).
He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with St. Louis before ending hiscareer with two seasons in San Francisco. Bruce was traded back to St. Louis inJuly to retire as a Ram.
The Rams honored Bruce on Sunday by wearing throwback uniforms from thatSuper Bowl-winning season. It was Bruce in that uniform that provided perhapsthe best moment in St. Louis Rams history—his game-winning 73-yard touchdowncatch from Kurt Warner(notes) in the waning moments of the Super Bowl that gave theRams a 23-16 win over Tennessee.