49ers Blog and Q&A

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

April 1, 2009
Bruce will be back

Veteran wideout Isaac Bruce called coach Mike Singletary this morning and delivered this message: I'll be back. The 36-year-old wideout had been uncertain whether he wanted to return for a 16th season. There is no word yet on whether Bruce will join his teammates for offseason workouts. Both Singletary and GM Scot McCloughan are in Los Angeles today for USC's pro day.

Bruce's return is a big lift for a 49ers' team that has plenty of rising stars at the wideout position but little experience. Bruce did not take part in a recent minicamp during which newcomer Brandon Jones, the No. 3 receiver in Tennessee last year, and Josh Morgan, who started one game for the 49ers in 2008, were the starting wideouts. Bruce likely will be the starter at flanker with Morgan opposite him at split end.

Bruce led the 49ers in receptions (61) and receiving yards (835) and also caught seven touchdowns last season. More than half -- 35 -- of those receptions came in the final six games when Shaun Hill was the quarterback. Bruce also served as a mentor to Morgan and fellow youngster Jason Hill, who are expected to take on expanded roles this season. Morgan said recently that he viewed Bruce as a "second father on the field."

Singletary has characterized Bruce's indecision as a normal consideration for someone who has been in the league 15 seasons. Still, Singletary said last month that he hoped for an answer from Bruce by today. The taciturn Bruce has not spoken publicly since the season ended and it's not known how he feels about Mike Martz's dismissal at season's end. Bruce spent nine seasons under Martz with the Rams before rejoining him last year in San Francisco.

How Bruce stacks up:

Jerry Rice 22,895
Isaac Bruce 14,944
Tim Brown 14,934
Marvin Harrison 14,580
Terrell Owens 14,122

Jerry Rice 1,549
Cris Carter 1,101
Marvin Harrison 1,095
Tim Brown 1,094
Isaac Bruce 1,003
Andre Reed 951
Terrell Owens 951

Jerry Rice 197
Terrell Owens 139
Randy Moss 135
Cris Carter 130
Marvin Harrison 128
Tim Brown 100
Steve Largent 100
Don Hutson 99
Isaac Bruce 91
Don Maynard (1958-73) 88

-- 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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