Isaac Bruce: 'I'm here to win a championship'

The Isaac Bruce signing is official, and the 14-year veteran will bring his 14,109 receiving yards - third-most in NFL history - to the 49ers to reunite with Mike Martz's offense. In his first interview as a 49er, the former Niner killer talks about what he has left to give and coming to San Francisco to finish his career in the offense that made him one of the league's most prolific wideouts.

Q: What does it mean for you to be back with Mike Martz? Is that the reason you are here?
Bruce:
I'm here to win a championship, and it's a great plus to be with coach Mike Martz. He has one of the brightest minds in the NFL and he has a lot of creativity and we will go into every game with confidence.

Q: What are your thoughts about playing twice a year against your former team?
Bruce:
I haven't really thought about it. I am sure when that time comes around I will be able to give you an opinion about it.

Q: If Mike Martz was not the coordinator here, would you have signed with the 49ers?
Bruce:
That's a hard question. I believed I would have listened to what they had to say and probably would have had conversations. I think with coach Martz being here, it was an added incentive. I was not in need of a job, but I was wanting to work. I would not have crossed out the 49ers had he not been here.

Q: Have you thought about what number you will be wearing next season?
Bruce:
No sir.

Q: Do you want to wear number 80?
Bruce:
I will give you an answer to that in a couple of weeks.

Q: You're 35 years old. How much football do you have left?
Bruce:
I have a lot left. If that wasn't the case, I wouldn't be here in San Francisco. I don't think this interview would be too important to you.

Q: When you look at what you are capable of doing, what kind of personal goals have you set for yourself?
Bruce:
I haven't really thought about football for the last two months. I haven't set my goals yet. I will and my hopes are very high. I am going to set my goals very high and I believe I will attain them.

Q: How disappointing is it not to finish your career with the Rams. Was that a goal of yours?
Bruce:
It wasn't disappointing at all. I have always known that this was a business-oriented organization. Could the hammer fall on Isaac Bruce and I would have to leave another city and play in a different one? I guess that question has been answered. It really wasn't surprising and I wasn't disappointed at all. It turned out that way, I am a 49er now and I am happy about it.

Q: Do you come in as the starter?
Bruce:
I don't know. I haven't seen an offensive roster yet. I am going to compete for the starting job, definitely.

Q: When Martz talked to you, did he talk to you about taking on a leadership role?
Bruce:
Not at all. I am familiar with the offense. Just watching the Lions play last year; I didn't see too many different things going on. I saw the offense being very effective and I was very familiar with what was going on. Maybe guys coming in and asking me what a person may think or what coach Martz may think in a situation, I believe I will be able to help.

Q: Was teaching the younger guys a role you had with the Rams?
Bruce:
Yes and we were all held very accountable for what our jobs were. Guys would come in and be able to learn a system. There were probably 8-10 guys that could come in and help the guys learn the offense. I have never had a problem and never had an issue with teaching.

Q: How complex is this offense?
Bruce:
Well to me, it is not complex at all. Maybe if you looked at it, you may have an issue with it because you don't see it so much. I have been around it for a really long time. I don't feel like it is very hard to learn. We put the study time in and we take what we learn from the classroom and it works just like coach Martz says it will.

Q: You are the only receiver that has played for coach Martz. What can the other receivers expect? How do you expect them to be challenged?
Bruce:
There are no ifs ands or buts when it comes to this offense and the guy that is coaching it. He expects a lot out of you. He is going to expect you to raise your level and from that level go to the next level and maintain that. That way there is a never an issue if a starter going down. The guys that come in are expected to play and perform at that same level. I have seen it many times in St. Louis. Someone was injured and a guy like Mike Furrey would step in and the production level wouldn't go down.

What are your thoughts on Brett Favre, who announced he's retiring?
Bruce:
Brett is a very humble guy. I think he is one of the most down to earth, realest persons that I ever met. As a football player, he was able to have so much fanfare. He talked to you like a teammate. I was never a teammate of his, but just the conversation you had with him was like he was. He knew things about you and he was never a guy that focused on one receiver when he played the game. He would always spread the ball around and that was very evident with new receivers that played with him. He played 17 years and always had new receivers so his motto was ‘if you get open, I am going to give you the ball'. That gives guy incentive to get open, work hard and make plays for him.

Q: Being in the same division with the 49ers, what do you see from the team that makes you want to be a part of this?
Bruce:
I am an offensive guy, but I see defense. I see the addition of Justin Smith who is a guy that can get to the quarterback. I see smart guys in the defensive backfield that can make plays. Patrick Willis is a great player from the SEC and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. I want to be a part of that. I have always felt like I was a defensive player and I play with that mentality, but I just so happened to be blessed offensively and I play offense. Just watching those guys run around and get after the ball makes me want to be a part of it.

Q: Does the inexperience at quarterback give you pause?
Bruce:
Not at all. When Marc Bulger took over, he didn't have much experience, when Kurt Warner stepped in, he didn't have much experience. I am sure they will get a lot of experience during training camp and the four preseason games. They will be confident when they go out and they will make plays in this system.

Q: Who do you expect your quarterback to be this season?
Bruce:
Not sure. I will let you fill that one in.



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