Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Isaac Bruce

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Isaac Isidore Bruce (born November 10, 1972) is a former WR in the NFL. He was drafted by the St.Louis Rams in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft. He played college football for the University of Memphis. He is remembered as one of the members of ”The Greatest Show on Turf”.

An All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selection, Bruce amassed 15,208 receiving yards in his career (fifth all-time). He played the first 14 years with the Rams and won a Super Bowl ring with the team in Super Bowl XXXIV over the Tennessee Titans. He also played for the San Francisco 49ers.

Isaac has his own Foundation. Here is his website. https://www.isaacbruce.org/about.php



See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome to our PODCAST, huddle up with gusts, where we talked to guests about how sports helped shape their life. I'm your host, former NFL quarterback, gusts fraud, and I'm joined by my longtime friend and coach, Dave Hagar. We are a RADIOCOM original podcast and you can find us on the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Now let's get in the huddle. All right, Dave. Today our guests in the huddle with us is future hall of Famer. Should be for sure one of the greatest players ever with the rams. I don't want to say I mean he's played in both cities, La and he has and say Louis Your Crown, and I actually got the pleasure and the honor of playing with them for two years. Super Bowl Champ, super bowl champ, greatest show on turf. Yeah, right in the he was the heart of that part of that. Actually played against him in college as well when Tulsa used to play Memphis. Oh Yeah, yeah. So joining us right now in the Huddle was Isaac Bruce Ike. Thanks for coming on show with us, Hey, guess. Thanks for having me, Dave. Appreciate it, manute. Thanks for opportunity. Oh absolutely. Yeah. So, Isaac, we want to start from when you were a little guy. I'm sure you're about five foot tall, lay about a hundred twenty pounds, running around out of Fort Lauderdale. What was that first experience for you of where you film love with sports? We you know what. I tell you what, man, I was probably a little shorter than five feet actually. You know, being a band in Fort Lauderdale, being in south Florida says you may well know, man, football is king. We play a lot of sports down here, but football was was just our number one go to and fortunately, you know, I fell in love with the game early in my life and I had the opportunity to see him older brothers play. Had the opportunity of following them to their parts and we played a lot of you know, what we call sadlock football in front of my yard, in front of my house on our street. So every day after school even I can remember, from a very young age, four or five, going out playing the game of football. We were just tossing it around or really making it my group of five versus your group of five. So as early as I can remember, man, sports and football has always been a part of my makeup. who were some of the better players in those samlock gains? Oh, man, behind you don't like you. Yeah, yeah, you know, it was normally you can always still who were the better players pastorm when you got picked. So I was always either in the top two. I was either the first or the second one to be picked and and you know, it just kind of went from there. But the talent level, you know, some of the guys that I played with and against, I mean it was just it was just some some phenomenal talent. So I was fortunate to be, you know, some of the cream at the cop at the top. Yeah, you know, like one of the things we always talked about is the lessons we learned without our parents, without coaches, without referees, when we did go playing those sandlot games or playing baseball or whatever it was with all your buddies. What were some of the lessons you think you learned as a kid in those times? Well, I have to say, first and photos the rules. I mean there were a different set of rules than different neighborhoods. So my neighborhood were going play another neighborhood and it's just probably some rules that they had and you had it played by those routs. So it could have been the usage of the balls or, you know, this is the out of bounds and this is how we played over here. We tackle on the sideline when you go to this neighborhood. So just being able to you know, be able to abide by the rules they're already set in place and at the same time, you know the authority hit with change. So just having and learning a lesson of being able to follow authority and being able to submit to authority. Those are some of the early lessons I learned long time ago. Yeah, I mean those those kind of things that that that we learned, you know, and you got to get back up. There's no training running out for you when your kid. There's no dad or mom's coming to help you. You know, when you're out there with your buddies, you might get popped a good one, but you get back up and I think those kind of things that how to play within a team. I mean some of those settings from when I was a kid were so valuable that you carry through the rest of your life. And I can't imagine in south Florida when you're playing down there. You know something, like you said, some of the talent. You got to keep up. You don't keep up, man, you're behind absolutely. I mean just thinking about my high school. I went to dial at high school here in South Florida and you know, I can remember, you...

...know, my varsity team having, and this isn't an exaggeration, but a hundred players on the team and you would have to wait your opportunity to play because everybody was good. The competition level was high. You couldn't afford to miss a practice, you couldn't afford to miss a day of school. So you know, those those things were embedded in us and that, you know, you had to have. You were going to have competition every day, so being available was your biggest asset that you could have. Right, right. And did you play other sports when you were young as well? You know, I think I wanted to, but I wasn't the fastest, so track was out of a question. I couldn't dribble with my left hands. So back tootball with our question. So I just took with what I was good at. I was good at football and from the from from the very start, I was always a wide receiver. You know, I was sparingly played defensive a little bit, but I was either tight end or wide receiver and I just did what I was good at. What was the first time that you started a game in high school? Where you young player, does you have to wait in line for a while? I waited in line. I was actually a senior on the varsity before I actually got my first start. So you know where we were really we really didn't count JV because everybody got an opportunity. That was a spot where there was a place where you started to develop and once you've got on by Varsity, because we were such a powerhouse, you pretty much had to wait a time. So I waited my I waited my time for a guy who grew up, you know, right down the street for me in my neighborhood. He was fast, he could catch, he was confident, just like I was. So kind of you know I'll playing this guy in training camp. You know I have my work cut out for me. So I was just a cleanup man my junior year and once in my senior year road around. That's when I got my first start. Wow, what size of school is Dillard Bill? It was when I was in high school were considered for eight and at that time it was the biggest in south Florida as as in Floridas for schools were concerned. Right now they go up to six A and we're considered one of those six a school. So I mean the football was the football was just what it is. And, like I say, we my school, my high school itself, we probably, I think, have had nineteen players that have played in the national football league. And in the area, you know our rival, which is, you know, elee high school, which is in pump no, I think they have about fifteen guys that have actually played in the profession of the NFL. And then up the street from uths, I mean I can actually walk from my home to I don't like saying their name, but St Thomas Aquinas and they have about, you know, thirty or thirty five guys now that have played in the national football league. So all of that is right in my county, that's Browitt County, where I'm from. Wow, I mean what talent has come out of there, you know. But you your career was set off by a lot that you accomplished when you were younger because of the attitude and the work ethic that that you had to put in in. Some of our fans love to hear those stories about the perseverance you had. So can you remember a time when you were young that you got knocked down or you got hurt? That that it really you had to fight through some adversity when you re young? Oh absolutely, man, and I and you know it's kind of funny, but this story, you know meet telling it it's like, well, that's not really adversity, but it did a lot for me. I remember playing in you know, Pop Warner Football, what we call it, but one of my teammates was Frank Sanders at that time and he ended up being a second round draft pick for the Arizona partner. So we had a very talented team, but he and I were probably the best on that team. So I remember one Saturday I go out, I have a really good game. I mean people are calling my name and and, you know, making a lot of tackles, making a lot of big plays on offense. So the next the next day, I think two days after that, we have another practice. My Mom's running a little late so and I have an issue with my helmet. So I'm actually getting to the field, the team's already running and the coach catches me and he and he just lets me have it. I'm talking like He. He asked questions to me like who do you think you are? You know because you because you did this in the game and you think you're this. And I never got out that something was wrong with my helmet and my mom was late because he was probably working. No, he just really just smashed all of the Prima Donna that I thought I would have and made me go out and run, do sit up and push ups and that stuff, and it was over from that day for me, just thinking I was ahead of anybody. So we were all as far as I was concerned, we were all the same players, playing on the same level, right. That happened...

...to me in high school as well, when I missed the beginning of practice because my mom scheduled a dentist appointment for me. So I got to that. As I'm walking in and I can hear, which is actually my father law now from completely the other side of the field, yelling at me. You know, same thing. I who do you think you are going and get dressed. I'm going to meet you at the fifty yard line. Go out to the fifty yard line. I think it was two hundred yards of bear crawls and yeah, you know, don't be late for my practice again. But they also cared for you, you know what I mean. They were hard on you, worked you hard, but also cared for you. Would drive you home, would give you food if you didn't have it. Those are the kind of coaches that make an impact in kids lives. It kind of with me and when it's when I walk into my house, I get that a lot. So a little different playing field, but yeah, it's similar though. Yeah, so, Ike, when you're grown up to did you have an idol, somebody you watched her or really looked up to? You know what, I was a big time Miami Dolphin Fan. You know, Da Marito could do no wrong in my eyes. Neither could Tony Nathan, neither could Mark Clayton, Mark Dooper, the killer beads. They could do no wrong in my eyes. I mean, you know those saying goes that you don't have a professional team, or professional NFL team that you followed if you've never cried for them. So I was all out Dolph, and you know I mean so. Even now, when Dan Marino sees me, you know, Oi I can see him roll in his eyes and like, Oh, here we go again. You don't because I got to get a fisture with it, right. I'm saying so I really like I really like Mark Clayton, mark duper, not more, and had the privilege of meeting all these guys and I did act like a kid when I'm around them out. So those guys I really, really looked up to the way they played the game because they were small guys and I considered myself as a small guy that, you know, possibly want to do the same things that they were doing. Yeah, I feel the same way when I go to a tournament and you know, I was a grew up in Pittsburgh and I was a steeler fan and and we're at a we just had an NFLPA golf tournament. I played in it, and Robin Cole's Yelling Hey, guys, guys, come over here, and I'm like to watch this kid. Yeah, when I was a kid, you know what I mean, it was it's still like I'm a little kid, even though we played the same game and all that stuff. It's same way when I met Terry Bradshaw and all that. So it is it is right, kind of funny that we all have those idols. So, Isaac, you were so you really didn't even get in the starting lineup. H So you were senior. So as far as the recruiting process went, how did that go? Like I'm guessing a little bit later than a lot of guys. Well, I tell you what, because, you know, we had such a bevy of talent. You know, schools were always on campus and I think they were pretty well informed that, you know, our second, third, maybe fourth guy could actually play at their school. We just hadn't had the opportunity for the film to go out and you know, proved that. But I got a I got recruited pretty good and kind of came down when I was in high school between UCF and produced. So I ended up signing with perdue, but academically it didn't work out for me and then eventually I went to junior college route and then guts I landed at Memphis from that, from from that standpoint. So it was it was the unconventional journey to pass but you know, ended up working out. How did you get to junior college way out in California, from South Florida. Well, you know what, I think God every day that I never heard about the junior college system, junior college system that was in Mississippi, that was in Alabama and those places at the time. I did. You know what, it never came. None of those guys ever came to recruit the school. But one of the coaches at perdue really introduced me to a friend of his that was already in California. He gave me a call in a couple of days after that, man, I was on a flight. Now, I took off and and I went from southern California, excuse me, southern Florida, to southern California, which was glorious to me, man, just like home. Yeah, so what was your family like when they knew you were traveling that far away to what were they were had for you? I mean I'm sure it's a bitter sweet where, you know mom, mom really didn't want me to go, but I was like, I was like, you know, it's the next step. I mean the step is, you know, for a football player, you go to college, you know you develop in college and then if you get an opportunity at the professional level, you know, that's what happens. But you know, it took some convincing. Had A let her know. She thought I wasn't thought I wasn't ready, but you know, I had watched them, gained a lot of information, gains some maturity by the time I was seventeen and I was I was out of there. You would call anyone that you either...

...played with or against when you were playing junior college that ended up in the NFL. Jamal Anderson Man, he played at more more Park College. It's funny. Yeah, it because he just, you know, kind of walked up to me one day and was like, you know, gave me the story and I remembered the game. I actually remember playing the game in junior college. He was playing for the Falcons at the time, but you know, you know he was there. I'm sure there are a couple more guys. We probably just didn't really know we were there. But you know, my school sent up sent a Monica City College after I left. You know, they got chatow, Josinko and then Steve Smith. They were there at the same time. So I think I started something with that junior college right. Yeah, I would like to be in the quarterback out there or the quarterback. Could a lot of targets throw too? Absolutely so. Then in Memphis, Tulsa, Dave Tulson, I and Memphis. We had a lot of good games together. WHO's your quarterback? I left. He right. You had a lefty quarterback in Memphis. Right, Eve, Matthew, Steven, massive matthews. Now he was a transfer from Tennessee. Right. So it's kind of funny. Was Chris Penn and I a Tulsa and Isa conceives and we had some really good games. Mere a lot of yards. Going to throw more there? Yeah, yes, is just funny. I Um, last year at the Super Bowl I saw Chris Penn and he kind of he walked up to me and I was like Yo, what's up, Chris's going on? You know, we shook hands and gave each other hook. You know, you don't look much like a receiver anymore, but see him. Yeah, I didn't much crab thank either. I think he and Steve might have cross path that Kansas City. They might have played together what before? While I know Steve played with the with the chiefs, while Joe Montana was there. Oh well, who, ISAAC? Who's the biggest when you'RE PLAYING FROM MEMPHIS? Who's your biggest rival? Um, at that time I'd have to say we had a couple. That's a Louisville for the basketball. I mean you know they were big rivals on the basketball and account went to the football team just a little bit. But you know, school like old Miss School like Mississippi State, because Memphis is right in the heart of the south and those cities and those schools they recruit Memphis a lot. So it counted just really played into a rival just because of the location of the schools. You never played against ut and Knox all while you're there. We played ut twice man and unfortunately man, you know, they beat us both times, but it was a we I think at that time we were Owen fourteen versus ut and we had ut on the ropes and your boy heat shooler was the quarterback at the time and we had the number one ranked defense in the nation and we really played well. We ended up getting a three and out late in in the game and they punted the ball to us. What an opportunity it was late in the game and the guy who scored all three touchdowns for US ended up fumbling the ball and they got the ball back and ended up kicking the short field going. We couldn't score, man, and we're just all deflated and I remember that game like it was yesterday. Wow, yeah, you know, he's was. I mean he ran a show when he was a Tennessee it what a good player. We interviewed him not too long ago because he and I just him being a first round pick and myself being seventh round picking, all the stuff we had together. It was just a great conversation that we had reminiscing and that's the only time we've ever done any kind of show or reporting or interviews together. And really, yeah, and it was just great to catch up and it was one of those things where you don't know how it's going to go and we just let by gones be bygones and actually became friends after that. So it was pretty neat after the interview. Yeah, yeah, that's a we haven't talked since, you know, he left the redskins. Really Yeah, so it was it was a great conversation. So how many coachs? How many coaches did you guys have to wear in your meeting rooms? I mean, for the the the air being so cold in there between, you can weird sit the way it was. You know it was. And then, you know, it was a hard situation because we were different. We come from different backgrounds and we're both fighting for the same spot and you know, I think now that we're both mature, we would handle it differently, but we did what we thought was right. Now, we really didn't put each other down ever. We just okay, you know, we just said, Hey, I'm I'm I'm here to win the job and that's what I'm going to do. You know,...

...wasn't like I'm better than this guy, which he's was a first round pick, so obviously, you know, he's really get a lot of different opportunities and I was going to get but you know, he said, even even with that, he knew he had a fight in the struggle and he wishes, he really wished that he wouldn't have held out. I think that was his big thing. I think that really hurt him that first year. You got him, you prepped him for his his political career at an early stage. Yeah, right, I think politics is way harder than playing football. Yeah, give him some fix. Get let me ask you this question. I know you interview of me, but deep down inside, did you believe you were better than he. Of course I knew that. I wasn't a I mean, when I get there and I see him run, I'm like, okay, yeah, this guy can run. But then, as you right, start working out with them. If you don't have that belief in you that you're better, that you should be out in that field and you're in the wrong league, man. You should be out absolutely with and I always had that and that's why I was able to play fifteen years and, you know, go all over the place, and that's probably why you, you were able to do all the stuff that you were able to do, because you had that belief that nobody can stop you and you're better than anybody out there indeed. Man. I mean that's the that's the mindset that you've got to have, man. It's what I preach, is what I preached to my children, and you know what, I don't think it's arrogant, I don't think it's being prival. I just think it's the confidence that you need that also propels you to that next level, whatever that next level may be. What do you think, though? I mean, I think as getting to the NFL, we all have that ego, that that pride that, Hey, I'm better, I'm the best at this, but then how do you bring that focus back to being able to play within a team? And that's what I think a lot of people miss. It is like, you are really good and you were going to help us win, but if you don't play within the team parameters and be a team, a good teammates, we're not going to win. If you understand what I'm saying, I do. I think you know what I think. It's one of the first lessons that you learned at a household. Me I was fortunate to have fourteen brothers and sisters and you know, my mom and dad was always there and it there are times when you know the children are going to start to be taller than the mom, Taller than the dad. We're going to be taller than our probably older brothers and sisters. But it's all about positioning. What position are you supposed to play within the household? So it's the same thing with a football team. Okay, you may be the fastest player, you may be the best wide receiver on the team. And you know, I was in a position one time where I think does nutsmire. I think he got drafted the teamers us, right. Yeah, Ninety four, so he didn't let he had, but he had a couple of coffee in the league, really, and he comes in as a position coach with the rams and I'm like really, I mean, is he going to teach US something? I mean he played in the League but he didn't last very long. But I already knew and already had that makeup at that you know, there's positions and there's hierarchy within an organization. You know, there's a coach and then, as a player, you know age doesn't matter, experience sometimes doesn't matter that much when the position is always set there. So I was able to be able to submit myself under his authority and make sure that, you know, number one, I did my job the best I could and be able to take the coach in from, you know, whoever was in that position. So it plays a big role in what you try to do with a team, right, and I believe that's true and I also believe, I don't know how you feel about this, but I think the great teams were always made in the locker room. Oh Yeah, you know, not in nothing. The coaches don't play a huge part, but it's the locker room isn't controlled, isn't doing the right things. If two guys aren't respecting each other, if they're not respecting the other people that are working with them and for them, it's never going to go the way you think it's going to fill. Well, absolutely, I mean you meant to respect and I always, always said respect is what we played for. I mean, you know, because we could be on the same team. You know, have to be from different backgrounds. I really don't like you, you really don't like me, but you played a position so well that I have to give you my respect and vice versus. So we go out not wanting people to fear us, but to respect us, and we do that first and foremost in our locker room, by our play. That's the way you get accepted into the group. So if you can play well, we're going to respect you. I remember running a lot was telling me that. He said it is not about if I like you, but if I respect you, if you're on the field and I feel like you can help us win and you're working hard. Hey, you got to be accepted into the foe but if you have, if you have, if you really can't play, I mean that's what leads you. That's what that's what leads you out of a group and now set through up for ridicule. Ridicule, if sometimes so that's the way that worked right now. I agree and I think that holds true and...

...in a lot of aspects of life, you know, and even just in the way if you have an office job and you have to. You may not like your boss but you got are your co worker, but you got. If there's respect there, you guys can accomplish some stuff. There's not a respect there makes it pretty tough, right. Look, yeah, I know, and my wife's going through that now. She went back got her master's and she works at a great clinic now for women's being, a real health and she's not exactly thrilled about the population that she's working with, but she respects all her co workers so much that it gives her a lot of joy and happiness to go into work just to be around them, because they're all super strong, super smart and just really want to help each other and help the women that they're working with. So I it does carry over and everything you do. So, Isaac, you start at Memphis and now tell us about you. Probably knew pretty early on, once you're at Memphis, that you had a very legit shot at making the NFL. Tell us about like the draft process and what you went through it. I guess that was what one thousand nine hundred and ninety four? Yeah, well, to be honest, from a physical standpoint that wasn't the case because here I am a junior and it's really the first time I really visit the weight room. I mean I couldn't bench breast one hundred and thirty five when I got there. It was a struggle and I wouldn't say I was the fastest guy on the team at all. I was probably between seven and four six as far as running and but one thing is I could always get open. I had the confidence that I'm the best wide receive on the team no matter what. And just just being at Memphis, you know, being introduced to the weight room. I played my first year, my junior year, and then come back and played my senior year. I can honestly say that my speed from a forty standpoint, didn't change up until after the last game as a singer and I started really focusing in on strength training and explosive moves. Explosive lists and it really changed my forty time. I probably went from a six and I finally ran a four hundred and forty one, and I think that's what propelled me really in the eyes of everyone else. As far as you know, ben it's draft, being drafted with the thirty three pick that year. Right. Yeah, I mean if you think about we didn't have the Internet, we didn't have ways to go and research how to get stronger and faster and right, I mean right. I mean I remember I was just telling my kids over the last weekend that we didn't have a we had a computer room at Tulsa where if I wanted to write a paper, I had a walk across campus to go write my paper and put it on a disc. Yeah, right, they're like be this. Yeah, they're like game and a Fay were like what, and I'm like yeah, and now you can write it on your phone if you want. It's crazy, like to change like laptops. Were like that was for Nassa or something. Yeah, it wasn't Isaac. I like to think that if you, if you had an IPAD in front of you when you were in high school or college, you probably have watched how to run faster, jump higher. You know, all the videos at the kids watch nowadays to really learn those kind of things. But it's crazy, I mean it really is. The difference between athletes today compared to when we were kids. Absolutely, because, I mean just think it is because, you know, we were preparing to be professionals. I mean you have physical therapists will professionals. They go to school for a lot of years to prepare to be a physical therapist. We were preparing to be professional football players. So anything that I would have saw, any of those videos, I definitely would have tried it and would it end up doing it and I think it would have helped me benefited me, you know, at a at an earlier Dayton life. I mean you see these younger quarterbacks who come out now. They do seven or seven so much during the offseason so that when they get into their college huddles or if they're fortunate to put at the highest level, these guys are season man because they're getting so many reps now and they know what to do, how to train and their parents can really focus in on what they need to need to do to get to that next level. So I think it's a huge advantage that these guys have now. Oh yeah, there's no doubt. They're not like me, where I ran Wayne tea offense in high school and through the ball over two years, thirty five times. So, which is insane, but it you know, let's kids know that, hey, you may not be where you think you are, where you want to be right now, but if you just keep working hard you can get there. I mean there was barely fellow a little. There was barely film of views and throwing in the ball bigh school. Yeah, feel me, through a threty five times. Yeah, there's there's been a lot, and we weren't very successful at it. You know, it's not like we don't think we ever did a seven on seven. You know where we just went in practice against another team. I don't believe we ever did that. Now there's like seven year olds playing seven on seven. He's...

...very easy. Yeah, it's right. It's insane, right, is hey, even if you look at anything like all the receivers. But how to run routes? I mean they're kids. WERE gonna how to run routes at such an early age. I can imagine Isaac in the Sandlot. You know, you when you're playing in the SANDLOT. It's like, ma'am, we'll run right by this dude. You know, that's how it was every time. Yeah, that's right, every time. All right. So you get drafted by the rams, so you're back in California. Tell it. Tell us what's at. That's like your second round pick, and what was life like your first year in the NFL? Well, it's funny. While I was in junior college I found them on a city college in Los Angeles. My Sophomore year I actually visited the rams and the chargers and the INN squad scrimmage and I'm standing on the gate, you know, one of the coaches that brought me, and just watching the guys. I think I see Henry Ella Go. He goes deepen and you know he strikes somebody. But then two years later I'm back as a member of the Los Angeles Rams and it was it was a I was happy to be back in La I was happy that, you know, one of my dreams had just come true and being a part of a historically organization like the rams. And I'm there, I'm learning from guys like flipper Anderson Jesse. Hester had a great coach at that time and it's a grooming process, I think, because you can you can attested this, but when you first get there, man, you know, you kind of wide eyed. I mean the speed of the game is is a whole lot faster and what it is in college. And always say that you have to make things slow down before you can really show the talents that you have. And for me that didn't happen until like week eate of the season, you know, because things were moving so fast. I was a third wide receiver to go into game and and I really didn't know the plan or the attack mode of the offense. So I was kind of lost for a couple of you know, a couple of weeks before everything started to slow down for me and then I can really got comfortable and then I can go out and play. Well, that's you know, if you were never able to catch up mentally, that's where a lot of guys just disappear right you have to be able to catch up mentally so those things slow down and, to be honest, that's what happened with heath. He's had a lot of problems where the games sped up for him and so he couldn't really understand how to go through his reads. You know, if, and you'll probably tell you this, if he had one guy to look at and it wasn't his favorite offense of the North Turner, the digit system. But yeah, you know, it's sped him up. So he was always running with the ball. He wasn't thrown to the open guy. And for me, I came from that system with Dave Raider at Tulsa, where you know you're going through your reads and you're running that kind of system. So the game wasn't that bad for me. Obviously, the how fast my receivers were compared to what I had in college was a big difference. In my line was a held a lot better at the it skins. But you're right, you gotta stay mentally. If you can't keep up mentally, the game is become super fast and you you just can't perform to your talents out there. Yeah, it would actually blow you away and at the same time it's separates the men from the boys. I mean, how many times have we seen these huge D fift of hands from the F STEC and APEC and they come in and you get old Grizzly betterman tight end that can block them. You know, with the and you know, technique was very, very important. I mean I thought, you know, talent, we will get you there to keep you there for a moment, but if you don't start to learn a technique part of the game or your position, you won't be there very long. Right. Right. So, so, Isaac, that year when you guys moved from La you go back to st you go to St Louis. Now it's aid sees him where Trent gets hurt, which was probably huge blow for you guys. You thinking you got all these weapons and then you lose your quarterback and here's this kid that comes from the real league, Iowa, Iowa. What's going on? I'm sure you've seen him a training cap make some throws, but when that first game that you were with him in a huddle, what was that like? What was going on? And and who was the guy that stepped up and really said don't worry about this, we're going to we got your back. Well, I tell you what you know. Initially, you know which what trick had went through. You know he was with watching them for a couple of years with Mike Martin and he was really already baptized into the offense. So much so that you know he could add live. You know we'd have, you know, eight hundred and sixty four, but you know he can look out and he had proven this and Training Camp Just Week wink at me, you know, running run an I route that he could do that. So when he went down I thought that we had lost a lot of juice just just from that that week that he blew with...

...me out to I think we had a week and a half before we started up with Baltimore. And you know, when Kirk finally got in the game, I started feeling a little bit more comfortable because, you know, you have myself, you have Tory hope, you had Orlando Pace, you have Marshall Fault, you had Adam Timmerman. So just looking at the guys who had been through some battles, I was pretty comfortable. And you know, it started off, as you know, Kirk just don't don't throw the ball away or just be a filiate facilitator and what hammed the rest. And I think it was about probably four weeks before he really started to get comfortable and then he started turning the corner about week eight, week nine before you can start to see they that okay, in this system. This guy's really, really special. I think he can he can anticipate, he could throw the deep ball. He was confident in his approach, yet prepared for the moment and in his opportunity. Mints is is a preparation and he just took off from their man. So it was it was great to be around, great to be a ram at that time and we just had it flown. They only lost one game. That you're day. They were ready to show you. They lost you that. Here I'm trying to think of the Detroit Lions, the lion. Yeah, cut broad to thrills down that, Johnny Morton, is the only game that all four kid feater undefeated season. No, and Isaac. That I shouldn't be I this shouldn't have surprised me. Here they've got brother got that. I was at that. I was living in dct the time, but we flew up to Detroit to watch guys. That's the game that I didn't even I didn't realize that was only getting a lost. Oh yeah, their corner was sleeping and Jermaine crow all we yeah, it was fourth and twenty eight and he probably to said there's no way they're getting by me and and I got sacked three plays in a row. I go back and I said all right, Jermaine, just just let it rit man with some only chance we got. So I didn't get sacked, was able to get the ball off. He catches it past he was who was a court it was it. I don't I leave hid Ay Allen. Yes, and so we catch it, get a first down. The next play Johnny Morton kind of runs like a dig route, but then I have time. I'm able to move in a pocket and I throw them back to the front pylon for a touchdown. And then, okay, we take the lead. I'm like, okay, great show on TURF. Yeah, they're just going to go right down the field and square the dome. It's in the DOMEE. It's somehow we got no fans there. They already got bags on your head right. So, and somehow our defense holds them and we end up winning the game. Now the funny store I remember about that is after the game it was my wife, me and my wife Kelly Ann and Gus all went out to dinner and we got so the four of us walk in a restaurant and I was the first one at the where you see the major D or whatever, ask for a table and we had to put in Our Name and I said fraught and they, the person, didn't even flinch. They didn't recognize the name. And then the small talk. We go think at the person goes hey, it looks like you guys came back from the game. That that quarterbacks pretty good. Huh? I go yeah, it's pretty good. Meanwhile that's is like three feet standing behind me, but the guy didn't no one even recognize them, but they already heard about the game. Yes, should never shoot. She goes, I can't believe that. The line just beat the Ram. Yeah, we're like yeah, that. Yeah, it was pretty funny. Yeah, it's funny, but there's so many things in life that can humble you really quick. You know absolutely just go and have a great game and you're on the cloud nine and celebrate with your friends and family and then, you know, you think everybody's going to recognize you, but they don't. It's it's pretty humbling. But yeah, one of the things I wanted to ask you is where you got the nickname the reverend. When did that start for you? Well, I tell you, I had did a local interview once we moved to St Louis, you know, you know probably with one are the local guys and you know, I had just started to play play. Well, I mean we played. We open up that season and green bay versus Brett far so I block a block a drop. I didn't actually block a punt, I block the ball from the punters hand on the drop and he kicked my own right and the next play, yeah, and the next play. That's pretty quick. So the next play I end up scoring a touchdown and Lambo field and we ended up winning the game. So we're riding pretty high and I do an interview with one of the local guys and you know, it kind of asked me, you know, the introductory questions about where I'm from and about Memphis, memphis being only four hours away from St Louis, and you know, what are my aspirations, you know, while I'm playing and when I'm done, and I told him to be in the ministry. So he kind of see,...

...kind of said the reverend, I think, but just in passing a little bit. But it got whole, you know, and it got hold to the guys up at sports and and Chris Bermant was the guy at that time and he kind of really made it, made it go viral. So he kind of laid it on me and and that was the whole deal. So from that moment on everybody was, you know, going around Reben Ike and REB N I can Rev Knight did well. You know, once he gets in the locker room, it's not leaving one. So absolutely, yeah, I think so. You know, you play this career, you've had ups and down St Louis Football. I mean I know a lot of the story in the history, but one of the things I always thought was really cool was that, you know, there's a guy you probably watch play, and I played with him actually, Henry alert, and now he's coaching you back with the ramps. What was that experience like for you? We'll guys. You got to realize that the year he left the rams he ended up coming with you and in Washington and right they draft me to replace him. So imagine that. And they give me his number. You know, Nice they give me the number eighty. So I wanted eighty three, but flipper Henderson had eighty three, so they just give me. So I guess that was a way of you know, in my introduction and and you know, making you know, trying to forget about Henry, but one of the best players ever to play the position. I mean hands down. I mean you talking about a guy who who really didn't start catching passes, and probably so it's like third years. I mean when you have a horse like Eric Dixon in the backbill, you turn around give it to him. So when Earnie ZIMPC comes in, you know, he kind of you know, and here he's told me the story many times, that you know, zmpc tells them that he's going to probably catch sixty to seventy balls this year and Henry, sad didn't believe it. So you know, it was one of the reason, you know, Henry became a punt returner because he wanted to get his hands on the ball from that stand point, right. But you know, he ended up catching sixty, you know, seventy eighty balls and and things that nature. And and this career ispatcus. I mean he's a guy that has only eight hundred catches, I say only, but well over thirteenzero career yards received. So a person like me, a person in my position, I never really look at the touches that a guy had. As far as catches are concerned, because you know, you know in today's football they threw a lot of passes behind the line of scrimmage, right. So you know, I always look at the yards for cats, what a guy does when he has the ball in his hands. So he was just, you know, I believe, sixteen, sixteen to every time he called it he got sixteen yards. So Yours, Paquetts got and he could. He was one of the best route technicians that I've ever seen. Having him as a coach was invaluable because, you know, I can go to the sideline and say, you know him, he's playing me right here, he's outside technique and he's given me cushion. What what can I do? You can give me an example right on the field as what to do. I can apply that information and after that you hear guy screaming me because I just got a touchdown past off of what he just told me on the sideline. So guys like that, man, it was just invaluable to have Henry for myself for my entire room. So he bought he brought a star quality to the room and tons of information, man, that we use. Man, I learned so much from Henry. I actually learn more about how to throw a comeback from Henry and any coach I've ever had, so I can remember I'm throwing them. I'm a little off, you know, because with timing and I'm young, I mean I'm a rookie, and I said hop man, how do I you know? Because it's driving me crazy that we're not perfect. And right he said, look, I'm going to run. When I look back at you, you throw the football. Yeah, and he is running down the sideline, didn't matter, fit his man or zone or whatever. He looks back at me, I let it rip on the outside and he just turns and comes right there. And and that's how kind of we had a real magic for a few years and I've never thrown a pass to Henry ellar all the years we played together that wasn't a first down. How about that one? I wow, that's great, and I mean I'm great man. And he was just such a good route runner that you could throw an early lay it out there. Yep, and you knew, right, we're just going to be and when I watched the greatest show on turn from how curt us to lead you guys, I mean it just it just makes you know brings back a lot of memories. Well, I tell you what, he taught us a lot. And you know what you're describing with the five rows. You know, early in my career when I had Chris Miller as my quarterback, you know, he just say when I look at you, just break. So we called it break on the eye. So I didn't stop running normally. That that fire brow that come back brought it's probably eighteen back...

...to fifteen, right, so we could really run it down to twenty and really not be going full speed. And it's another thing that that here he would teach us is to play at too speeds. So we're running four speeds. But you know, we were confident that we couldn't be beaten out of our breaks and when the quarterback would look we that's when we'd break. And you know, it was funny how I had always worked out in practice and it was even easier in the games, right, because the once you get in practice, those guys know what you're doing right. So absolutely, I mean playing those DV's, they don't really understand that game, the game, and it was in I mean just I taught so many receivers how to do inside release. You know do that stem release because Henry was so good at he was just it's just I still have dreams. I wake up in the middle of night with sweat speaking about this throne, Henry a dig router seven. You know all like you know in your dreams. I like I screw it up in my dream and I'm waking up and like in nor Jel and at me. So it's hey, a lot of great experiences. So, Isaac here, Super Bowl champion, you played in one of the great super bowls ever, with one of the great endings ever, the one yard short game. But when all that went down at the this you know, the waning seconds, you would have been on the sideline, I guess. Tell us what that was like, watching the the final seconds tick away, and you're the Games and jeopardy. Well, I tell you what I mean. It's what every every person that's ever put on a helmet and played the position of wide receiver, you always imagine yourself catching a game winning pat so right that happened. It happened for me and fortunately and unfortnately, when I looked at the clock, we still had about a minute and fifty four seconds. Lest yeah, I saigot I forgot you content. Yeah, you got to go ahead, ass, that's right. Yeah, yeah, so r you know, getting the end zone and I'm walking and walking back down the sideline and I see I see the time left and I'm thinking, oh my goodness, man, with with Steve McNair, and I know he's a Gamer, you know, you just you just have some guys who they probably want the best pure passes. It probably wasn't, you know, as accurate as a lot of other people, but this guy will beat you. You know I'm saying, and that's what we were facing and it was one of those moments where whatever he did in that game, it was working at that moment. I mean I seen this guy push off to three hundred pound defensive lineman and keep the drive alive and ended up completing a pass and at that last moment, man, you know, I'm like, I'm all, I was always one of those guys. I didn't like to follow the ball down the field because it got crowded in there. Guess you know what I'm talking about. You that these big guys are sweaty, they breathing, people cheering. I didn't like being in the mix right there, so I just separate myself and go down to the other end and I will watch the game on the Jumbo Trun at least the snap. I see the snap, the live snap, and then my eyes will go to the jumbo tron just to see, you know, the the completion of the plate. So that's where I was. I was standing and I was watching. I saw the ball snap, stars, saw Steve You drop back and my eyes go to the jumbotron and you know when you're in a super bowl is it's always a bipartisan attendance. The crowd is like one team, what half and half. So I was based in my my reaction was going to be based off of what my sideline did. And when I saw those guys just explode and start running on the field, I immediately run and find my home at grab my helmet, make sure I secure it so it doesn't get lost in the SELFLEA can take it home and my jersey, keep that on and I just go out on the field. I celebrate. Man, it was one of those glorious moments. Man, as a football that that that everybody wants to experience and I think everybody should experience. But you know, I fortunately I had an opportunity to experience that. You know, going back to Steve McNair. You know we were talking about Sundlot before and that might be my number one draft pick if I'm building a all Samlot team, is take see m there. Yeah, I mean he could do everything to it. Well, I'm thinking about Isaac fact, you know, I'm sure when Isaacially my second thing, I think we can. But I'm thinking about like the CULM nation of all the years of football that Isaac has gone through and everywhere he's been, all the transitions he's made and to come to that point, to finally get to the top right. You know, I'm sure that, I mean probably didn't hit you till you were, you know, going on the bus or or your back home. You know, I can I mean that had to be incredible feeling. Well, absolutely. I think it really hit me when we were back in Saint Louis and with a parade, because every champion, you know, you have a parade in your city and that's when, that's when it really you know you're really crowned the champion when you have that procession down one of the streets, and St Louis like Market Avenue, so I mean that was the...

...moment, that was it for me. Yeah, so I tell us a little bit. You played. You play a long time in the NFL, sixteen years. You know, what was that transition like leaving the game and what are you doing currently? Well, it was all about preparation. Man, sixteen years, you know, I was ready to go. I think I could have played probably two more seasons, but you know, I think the biggest thing for me was, you know, having to learn another offense, really not another offense, but just a jargon that goes with an offense that a guy brings in, and having to teach that to guys who were two twenty, and I know the way I was when I was t twenty. I wasn't really focused. But you know, having to be patient with those type guys and I thought it was time to go. I was ready to, you know, just leave football to do something different. And from there, man, after I think my sixteen season season, I got married, ended up having my first daughter and San Francisco that year and after that, man, I just started building my family. Um, I'm an entrepreneur here in south Florida and from that, man, I just just raising my girls. Man, and having a good time enjoying life. Are you in that? Did you? Did? I just read that you're an athletic director. Now I am an athletic director. I did you sit in that position out at university here, locally, in Florida and South Florida. So that's a bit of a challenge itself. Man. I had to hire. I had to hire a football coach, and you know, people look totally different on their rhythume as opposed to when you meet them. So, Hey, man, let me tell you that that was tough, man, it was tough. That's probably how all the coaches felt when they they hired me, like is, resume looks good. Then they bring in there like we're not so sure about this for right. Well, like, you're doing a lot of good things. I know your foundation is this kicking at you're helping a lot of kids. Reverend is strong out there days, it sounds like it. Yeah, and he's doing a lot for his family, doing a lot for his community and giving back in all kind of ways. All right, hey, we appreciate man. We wish you all the best of luck. I know you're going to get in this year. I can't see you. Can't wait to see you where that gold jacket and actually we just interviewed David Baker and we're going to be over there doing our show during the in trinment. So we're excited to see a man. Good luck it and we're rooting for you. He appreciate it, man, nice talking to you, guys. All right, thanks, Isaac. Thanks. I talk to you. Yes, sir. We want to thank you for listening to huddle up with gusts, a RADIOCOM original. You can find our show on RADIOCOM, the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Please leave us in review or comment if you enjoyed the show. We are on facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube at huddle up with Gus. You can also visit us on our website, huddle up with guscom. The the the the the...

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