Sometimes, you just know when you’re staring at someone special. For those of you who are a little younger, whether you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan or you’re a fan of the other 31 NFL teams, you’ve no doubt heard about Isaac Bruce. Now there’s someone who was special. Too bad he never wore the midnight green.
Bruce played for 14 years in the NFL. He began his journey with the Los Angeles Rams (yes, he played for the Rams the last time that they were in Los Angeles), before spending most of his career in Saint Louis. He finished his final two seasons in San Francisco as a member of the 49ers.
He appeared in 232 games with 210 starts. That includes nine playoff games (two Super Bowl appearances are in there as well). The results were legendary and eventually Hall of Fame worthy. Try 1,068 receptions for 15,967 yards and 95 trips to the end zone on for size. What’s that phrase? Oh yes, game recognizes game, and one of the owners of some of the best football talent the world has ever seen gave a huge nod to an Eagles rookie once.
Isaac Bruce praises Philadelphia Eagles rookie DeVonta Smith.
DeVonta Smith has a long way to go before he catches up with Bruce in the NFL record books, but it’s obvious that, if he can stay healthy, he poised for a great NFL career. He has a loyal Alabama Crimson Tide following supporting him. He has already won over the great Philadelphia Eagles fans.
Smith has the tools to truly be something special, and just in case he needs any extra push, Bruce has him in mind as well. You’ve heard the comparisons by fans and pundits that link Smith and another Hall of Fame inductee, Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison, mostly because both Smith and Harison are slight of frame. You may not have heard the comparisons of Smith to Bruce though.
Isaac Bruce sees those comparisons as valid, and recently, while chatting it up with ESPN, he shared his thoughts on those statements.
"(Smith) isn’t the most vocal guy. You can start there, which is something I like. He has tremendous confidence when he does open his mouth, and you can see it in his play. He’s very similar to Marvin. I can see a lot of it as far as the separation is concerned, (and how he) catches the ball well. (He has) strong hands, and his ability to run after the catch, very similar to the way Marvin played."
Now, let’s just pause right there. If Smith is half the player that Bruce and Harrison turned out to be and he has a career that mirrors theirs, watch out. Again, fingers are crossed that the man formerly known as the ‘Slim Reaper’ can stay healthy. Bruce doesn’t seem to be worried about that though.
Harrison played most of his career at the 185-pound range and was six-foot tall. Bruce was in that six-foot, 188-pound range, so he knows a little bit about the questions that DeVonta Smith has heard as he was also questioned about his physical stature. Perhaps Bruce says it best.
"My new teammates were kind of shocked just how small I was, or how I like to say, how big I was. I think the important thing is how DeVonta sees himself. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a six-foot-five, 215-pound player, and I think he sees himself that way as well. His game proves that because he plays big."
You can’t coach Smith out of being six-foot-one and 175 pounds, but he seems to be learning everything else that he needs to know about playing the wide receiver position fairly quickly. Hey, if he’s impressive enough to get a mention from the legends, that’s good enough for the Inside The Iggles staff. We can’t wait to see what he does during the 2021-2022 NFL season.