49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

November 13, 2008
Bruce: Rams beat me to the draw

Here's a very long Q&A the beatwriters had today with Isaac Bruce, who, of course, is facing his former team for the first time Sunday. Bruce, who is as emotionless as a tree stump, insists there is nothing special about the game. I might call BS on anyone else who makes that claim. After all, Bruce spent 14 illustrious seasons with the Rams. But you tend to believe it coming from him. By the way, score one for the scribes. No. 80/88, actually was facing us this time when he gave the interview ....

Has it been hard to stay positive during such a disappointing season?
IB: Not at all. Not at all.

Why have you been able to keep your spirits up; what do you see?
IB: Well, um, frustration has never added anything to my life. I don't allow frustration to be part of my life.

How do you reconcile what's going on as far as the win-loss record?
IB: Look at it as a work in progress. Happy to be a part of it.

The young receivers on the team talk about what they glean from you. Do you take pride in their play?
IB: Honestly, I don't. It's what they're here to do. They're here to play and they're hereto perform when they get their opportunity. If they don't do that, they know they won't be here.

You say 'work in progress.' Are you encouraged by what you see? Do you see progress?
IB: I'm always encouraged. And, yes, I do see progress.

Early on you talked about high expectations and high goals. How do you address those as the season goes along?
IB: Well, you don't. I'm not a double-minded person. And if I did address it, it would be a double-minded person, so therefore my goals and everything I believed about this team in the beginning are still the same.

Are you a creature of habit?
IB: I don't understand the question.

Do you like to get into a routine?
IB: I think that's pretty much everyone.

For 14 seasons, you were in the same place. How have you adjusted to a new environment?
IB: Football is football. (Long pause). That's a different question, we'd have to have some time to answer that question.

Any extra importance in playing your old team?
IB: Really, I practiced against them for 14 years. So no big difference.

Do you talk to anyone on the team?
IB: Don't want to answer that question.

Why not, Isaac?
IB: Just don't want to.

Why haven't we seen more consistency from you - it seems like every time you get the ball, you make things happen?
IB: I think a concerted effort is being made to get me the football. When I get it, I can only do what I do. I'm not the quarterback or the coordinator or anything like that.

Do you and Mike Martz talk about why the ball isn't coming to you more?
IB: Mmmm, I can pretty much see what he sees. So, there's no need for dialogue for why it's not happening. I don't know. I don't lose sleep.

Why do you think that is occurring - or not occurring?
IB: I believe our running game is working really well. And I'm a big part of that. I'm alright with going with what's working.

It had to have been emotional to leave the only NFL team you've been with. Did that affect you personally?
IB: Affect me ....?

... Personally. That you weren't able to finish your career with the only NFL team you knew?
IB: (Laughing). Not at all. Not at all.

Really? Why not?
IB: Because I don't live my life emotionally. I live a principle-led life. I know business is business. Sometimes business falls on the people who you don't want me to fall on. And, uh, it fell on Isaac Bruce. I wasn't surprised. Sometimes I say they beat me to the draw.

You say it's business. But I'm sure you developed a lot of friendships there.
IB: I don't lose friendships because I leave. If I did, they were never my friends.

What do you mean by 'They beat me to the draw?'
IB: It's what I said. It's pretty self explanatory.

I don't know what that means
IB: Well, I don't want to get into it. I'll just leave it there.

Do you see yourself playing in the future?
IB: Still having fun. And I do plan on playing in the future. And that's the future, so ...

I don't know how much you look at NFL history. But your time with Torry there, do you think that was one of the best tandems?
IB: Yes

What makes you say that?
IB: I'd say the production.

How were you guys able to compliment each other?
IB: Torry and myself?

IB: We were friends first, so that helps everything.

Did you consider yourselves both No. 1 receivers when you were there?
IB: I couldn't tell you about his thinking, but, yeah, mine was.

Two No. 1's?
IB: No

You were the No. 1?
IB: That was my thinking. I'm sure he's thinking the same thing.

Is that what you want, everyone thinking they were No. 1?
IB: On my team, I'd be looking for guys with that mentality.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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