Is Isaac Bruce a Hall of Famer?

When Isaac Bruce officially retires on Wednesday, he’ll do so by holding every major Rams receiving record of all-time. He ranks fifth in NFL history in receptions with 1,024 and is second in all-time receiving yards with 15,208. He’s also ninth all-time in receiving touchdowns with 91 and was selected to four Pro Bowls.

But even though the former Ram and 49er set NFL stat sheets ablaze with his numbers, some don’t consider him a Hall of Famer because of the offensive systems he played in. From 1999 through 2001, the Rams led the league in passing yardage and they also set the record for most passing yards in a season in 2000 with 5,232. Therefore, many consider Bruce’s success a mere product of the Rams’ passing success in those three seasons.

While it’s hard to argue that Bruce didn’t benefit from the offensive systems he played in (as well as from lining up across from Torry Holt all of those years), it’s hardly fair to deny him entry into the Hall of Fame because of it. It’s not like he had a choice to play in those offenses during those years and besides, he still put up outstanding numbers.

Was Bruce a dominant player? No, but neither was Lynn Swann and he’s in the Hall (albeit after 14 tries). Bruce has the numbers, was fairly consistent (he racked up eight 1,000-yard seasons during his career) and played on some great teams.

He’s probably not a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but I believe Bruce should be elected into Canton at some point. Again, he wasn’t a difference maker but we’re talking about the best receiver in Rams’ history.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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