On August 7, Issac Bruce will become the fourth member of the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” offense to earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bruce will follow former teammates Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Orlando Pace, players who helped the Rams capture their first Super Bowl title at the end of the 1999 season.
One former teammate who may join them in Canton, Ohio sometime soon is Torry Holt, who as a rookie helped the “Greatest Show on Turf” score 526 points during the ’99 regular season. While both players were great in their own right, Bruce feels that he and Holt are the greatest receiver duo in league history.
“It may seem like a whole lot of arrogance to other people, but numbers don’t lie,” Bruce said during a virtual interview on Tuesday. “Everything we put on the football field, the film, it is what it is. You can always go back and turn it on.”
The duo certainly has the numbers to back up Bruce’s claim. Bruce retired with over 1,000 career receptions and over 15,200 receiving yards to go with 91 touchdowns. Holt caught 920 passes for over 13,300 yards and 74 touchdowns during his 11-year career. Along with individual stats, Bruce mentioned the impact both he and Holt had in big games against formidable defenses. The duo combined to catch 13 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ 23-16 win over the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. Holt’s nine-yard catch midway through the third quarter gave the Rams a 16-0 lead. After the Titans had rallied to tie the game, Bruce’s 73-yard catch and run with 1:54 left gave St. Louis the lead for good.
Bruce offered a quick response when asked if he believes that he and Holt were a better duo than Randy Moss and Cris Carter, two Hall of Fame receivers who played during the same era.
“We won a Super Bowl,” Bruce said.
A year before Bruce and Holt won their title, Moss (then a rookie) and Carter helped the Vikings score 556 points (a then-NFL record) en route to a 15-1 regular season. But in the NFC Championship Game, a missed field goal opened the door for the Falcons to pull off a shocking upset win over Moss, Carter and the rest of the Vikings. Carter retired without having ever played in the Big Game, while Moss lost both of his trips as a member of the Patriots and 49ers.
Bruce sees a lot of similarities between the “Greatest Show on Turf” and today’s offenses. And while he won’t put a number on it, Bruce is confident that the ’99 Rams would have no issues lighting up the scoreboard if they were placed in today’s NFL. Along with Holt and the other Hall of Fame players, Bruce mentioned two other key cogs in the “Greatest Show on Turf” offense: veteran lineman and Super Bowl XXXI champion Adam Timmerman, and fellow receiver Az-Zahir Hakim, whom Bruce called the best “start and stop guy” he had ever played with or against.
“You put that same group of guys in this [era], I don’t think there’d be a lid to it,” Bruce said as far as how many points the Rams would average in 2021. “We would probably have to call off the dogs.”