Patterson knew all about them, but he discovered something else when he moved Bruce. He invited senior Tyler Anderson inside and watched that work out as well as Bruce's move.
"He had his best week of practice since I've been here," Patterson said of the former Morgantown High star. He's physical, big. It's different for him, but it's where he started in the stack defense. It made sense to me."
The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Bruce will be the Spur in the base defense. Patterson said he'll come off the field when a game situation asks for a new package and that he won't be an inside linebacker in different personnel groupings.
Meanwhile, Bruce can focus on his new position and some of the things he hasn't had to do in a long time. He said he hadn't really blitzed since he was a sophomore at Providence High, in Jacksonville, Fla. He's found it's not like riding a bike.
"I'm definitely on training wheels right now, but I'm slowly getting back into it," he said. "But the linemen are a bit faster."
There were a few plays on few days when Bruce played outside like he did inside. The middle was crowded with action on both sides and an opponent usually found Bruce quickly. That meant he had to move fast and play fast to make things happen.
So as he was learning about Spur, Bruce would rally to the ball and simply become part of a crowd. Other times, a play would go to the other side of the field and he'd pursue, but that only hurt the play because he could no longer defend a move that cut back across the field and into the space Bruce vacated.
There's less going on when he's restricted to one side of the field, but it doesn't mean he has to do more.
"I just have to worry about taking care of my part," he said. "If I take care of my one-eleventh, I'm making sure we have a successful play."
Bruce now has a chance to do more in an area with fewer distractions.
"When you're inside, you can see pretty much the entire formation," Patterson said. "You can see the offensive line, you can see the backs. When you move to the (wide side of the field), now you know you're only focusing right through that end man on the line of scrimmage and it's easier to key things. And things don't get on you as fast as they do inside.
"For Isaiah, the angles are better. He's taking on different blocks and taking them on differently. He's very, very elusive and has an ability to slip blocks, but the strength to come in and force blocks. I just really like what I've seen from him."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.