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Jerry Rice: Randy Moss was Lazy and Hard for Me to Watch

Why is it that Jerry Rice is considered the greatest receiver of all time?  Is it because he had the best quarterbacks?  They were pretty good.  Is it because he has the most natural-born talent?  He has quite a bit of that, too.  Or is it just because he wanted it more than everyone else?  According to Rice, that’s the thing that separates him from a guy like Randy Moss.

As Pro Football Talk pointed out, Rice joined ESPN Radio Tuesday morning and shared some thoughts about the recently-retired Moss.  Rice said he believes Moss could have been one of the greatest receivers in football history had he just tried harder.

“It was hard for me to swallow because I was not as talented and I had to work harder,” he said. “To see a guy with that much talent not give it 100 percent, it was almost like a little slap in the face. But Randy was Randy.

“He could have been one of the greatest if he had worked just a little bit harder. I don’t think he wanted to give it 100 percent. You never knew what you were going to get with Randy. Sometimes you’d get the unbelievable guy, the amazing guy. Other times you’d get the guy that took a couple plays off.”

For many of us, Rice is simply stating the obvious.  Moss was accused of quitting when Matt Cassel took over for New England and has given up various times throughout his career.  Members of the media have always criticized Moss for being a quitter, but it sounds a little better coming from the greatest receiver in NFL history.  Moss had the tools to be even better than Rice, but he always lacked the heart.


Around The Web

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I’m pretty sure Randy worked hard, but Jerry is right. Moss had the tools to be the greatest. It’s his fault he came up short.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IMPFHVKC6F5UFYWFNTBEYR6JRM CAJ

    It’s always been overblown with Randy Moss… Okay, so what if he took a play off here and there. The big thing was the payoff when he did streak down the sidelines or leap over three defenders to catch a TD. Leave the guy alone already! How many times have we witnessed defensive players or offensive line take plays off? It’s just that he has always been such a high profile player, it stands out more. Get off Moss already and move on! The media just wont let this go away… And as for Rice, without Montana, you wouldn’t have had half the success you did. Moss is by far more talented then you were ever durng your career. Go away Rice and shut your mouth!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Ammons/1816835831 Mike Ammons

    @caj..totally right, Rice had the benefit of two excellent qbs, as well as another good wideout to ease the double coverage, not to mention, a very good running attack. Rice, and guys like Brent Jones, all benefitted from the Bill Walsh system that minimized the double coverages and 8 in the box defenses by spreading the ball around. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Holland-Ailes/1035589807 Holland Ailes

    As Gerry Rice said, talent wasted is a crime.  Randy Moss is a crminal, he left his team mates holding the bag for his bad attitude too many times to count.  He had the ability to lift a so so quarterback up, but intead he just played the blame game.  To quote the expert on failure, Charlie Sheen—-Randy Moss was a Torpedo of Waste.

  • Anonymous

    So Rice has something to say about the guy who beat his single-season td record?  Bitter cuz he didn’t even need to do it against replacement players?

  • Adnan Mulkana

    I like Rice, but people forget how often coaches sent Randy on a Go Route. Couple that with QB’s that were not only not Joe Montana or Steve Young, but pretty lousy at times and you’ve got a recipe for NEEDING to take plays off. You tell me how many times Jerry Rice could run 3 straight routes over 20yds including a 50yarder and then line back up and have the energy and desire to do it for a 4th play remembering that none of the other balls came within 10 yards of him even if he was the target. When he’s had a QB capable of throwing the ball to him, he’s been the best receiver ever, he had the best single season ever by a WR (that was even recently) the one time he had a QB healthy and of the same caliber as Steven Young or Joe Montana

  • http://www.facebook.com/wesleymills11 Wesley Mills

    he’s a deep ball threat. That means whether the ball is coming his way or to somebody else, his job is to spread the field. That means he’s always running full speed and you will obviously get tired. So taking it easy for a couple off running plays where he like most receivers do not block shouldn’t be what they all just talk about and use to brainwash peoples opinions.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FPPTTRJMEQZEUKXAYAZB4SZHLI Maverick

    Damn CAJ sounds like you and Randy may  have a thing going or something, and as for your comments about RICE not being nearly as talented as MOSS hahahahaahahahhaa  you must not read STATS I take it ? What a moronic statement you just made .  Damn man get a clue , and stop riding Randy’s nuts so hard or they may fall off!

  • Anonymous

    Jerry was always on a winning team. He never played for a loser. And he seems to forget what happened when a young and upcoming star (T.O.) took over and started to outshine him enough that he LEFT the 49ers. When the going got tough, Rice bounced, the 49ers granted his release. He’s taking a shot at Moss right now because everyone else is. At least he’s man enough to say that Moss was more talented. 

  • Anonymous

    This was written when Jerry Rice asked to leave the 49ers:

    “Rice leaves the 49ers with mixed emotions. He appears bitter over how he was used the past few seasons. Rice often ran short routes, where he frequently bumped into bigger players such as linebackers, instead of running deep patterns against smaller players such as cornerbacks and safeties.
    He contends that he would have been more productive had he remained the featured receiver.” Rice sounds awfully similar to Moss…

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    Chris Carter, Jake Reed…..Pro Bowlers… Randal Cunningham..Played lights out with THREE great recievers and Robert Smith a pro bowler at running back….Tom Brady, Wes Welker and many others in that offense, Randy’s only bad offense was in Oakland, and he sucked there just like the rest of the team. You guys act like Moss was a one man show or something…lol. Neither HE or Rice made things happen on their own, so stop with the foolish debates and except the facts Rice was better, Moss had the most physical gifts for the position…PERIOD

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    Wrong Rice set his record of 22 receiving Touchdowns in 12 games vs the regular players, there were only 3 weeks of the strike, and Rice never crossed the picket line until all matters were resolved. YES that’s 22 tds in 12 games + 1 rushing td (23) equal to Moss’s number. RESEARCH before you spill out “facts” please.

  • Anonymous

    So, Rice played 20 years and couldn’t do more than 22tds in a 16 game season? Coincidence? That was Moss’ first year with that Patriots system, research right? Research.

  • Sport

    Come on Jerry.
    Niner season ticket holder of 30 years … but why do you even have to get your opinion out there?
    I agree with much that you say, it just sounds like conversation when we say it but coming from you we expect more.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KB7Q56LSHB232NOEZKPKTTFOR4 Deejay Davis

    Are you serious?!!!!!! What are you like 12? I agree to extent with the media part of your argument but if the G.O.A.T of recievers has something to say it is well worth listening to. Did you forget that every record Rice set with Montana, he then broke with Young and he still went on to help resurect the career of Rich Gannon and help a younger Matt Hassleback? So seeing as how he sustained it over a 20 year period and was one of the best in ALL of his seasons!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KB7Q56LSHB232NOEZKPKTTFOR4 Deejay Davis

    Are you serious?!!!!!! What are you like 12? I agree to extent with the media part of your argument but if the G.O.A.T of recievers has something to say it is well worth listening to. Did you forget that every record Rice set with Montana, he then broke with Young and he still went on to help resurect the career of Rich Gannon and help a younger Matt Hassleback? So seeing as how he sustained it over a 20 year period and was one of the best in ALL of his seasons!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KB7Q56LSHB232NOEZKPKTTFOR4 Deejay Davis

    Are you serious?!!!!!! What are you like 12? I agree to extent with the media part of your argument but if the G.O.A.T of recievers has something to say it is well worth listening to. Did you forget that every record Rice set with Montana, he then broke with Young and he still went on to help resurect the career of Rich Gannon and help a younger Matt Hassleback? So seeing as how he sustained it over a 20 year period and was one of the best in ALL of his seasons!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KB7Q56LSHB232NOEZKPKTTFOR4 Deejay Davis

    Are you serious?!!!!!! What are you like 12? I agree to extent with the media part of your argument but if the G.O.A.T of recievers has something to say it is well worth listening to. Did you forget that every record Rice set with Montana, he then broke with Young and he still went on to help resurect the career of Rich Gannon and help a younger Matt Hassleback? So seeing as how he sustained it over a 20 year period and was one of the best in ALL of his seasons!

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    What are you “trying” to say here, name me one other receiver that has scored at that paced besides Rice and Don Hudson?…..I know Don WHO???? and also Rice did his 22 in his 3rd year I believe, so what are you “trying” to say? a twenty plus td year is a once in a career occurrence, look at the stats buddy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    What are you “trying” to say here, name me one other receiver that has scored at that paced besides Rice and Don Hudson?…..I know Don WHO???? and also Rice did his 22 in his 3rd year I believe, so what are you “trying” to say? a twenty plus td year is a once in a career occurrence, look at the stats buddy.

  • Anonymous

    Look at your grammar, “buddy.” You think I don’t know Don HuTson? (see what I did there? Spelled his name correctly.) Irvin Fryer? Steve Largent? Fred Biletnikoff? Art Monk? Lynn Swann? Jon Stallworth? C’mon son. What I AM saying is that Rice scored 22tds against replacement players. If he did it in twelve games in his third season, why couldn’t he do it again (say, the next year) in a full, 16 game season when he played what, 17 more years after that? It is a once in a career, maybe even a GENERATION, achievement, but no one has scored 23 TDs in a season, no one but Moss. STATS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    Read the earlier comment that I made before, I’ll copy and paste it for you. “Wrong Rice set his record of 22 receiving Touchdowns in 12 games vs the regular players, there were only 3 weeks of the strike, and Rice never crossed the picket line until all matters were resolved. YES that’s 22 tds in 12 games + 1 rushing td (23)” and the point that you are making is what? Moss did it once, and it took him longer in his career to do. He will most likely never see that type of production again. I grew up a fan of every Wr you mentioned, either by live action viewing or through NFL films. So please tell me how you can mention Irving Fryer in the same breath as any of the other Wr’s you spoke of ?

  • Anonymous

    The point I am making is that it’s a little coincidental that Rice did this during a strike shortened year, against replacements, with Joe Montana. Another point is that Moss did it his first year with the Patriots, new scheme, missed quite chunk of camp, and did it with a bulls-eye on the back of his jersey because they were going for an undefeated record. ALSO I’ve said this before too “why couldn’t he do it again?” He had 17 more seasons to play, each with 16 games in them. If he could catch 22tds in 12 games why couldn’t he do more in those other 16 game seasons? Another point…….see what Moss can do with a good QB? Imagine if he had Brady for half his career. And Irving Fryar caught touchdown passes from 19 different QBs, that means he played with at least 19 different QBs, not a happy feeling if your a wide receiver. And he’s still top 20 in major statistical categories.

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    What part of “against the regular players” don’t you understand? Yes, what Rice’s 22 td’s came IN a strike year, BUT RICE DID NOT PLAY UNTIL THE STRIKE WAS OVER, AND HE DID IT  AGAINST NON-STRIKE COMPETITION. Rice had numerous seasons of which he scored more than 15 td’s in a season receiving wise, that is far beyond the norm. The man had 207 TOUCHDOWNS total for his career. 197 receiving, 10 rushing is that not enough for you? The fact that Rice is the all-time leader in touchdowns should make you retract the statement in itself, seriously. I still do not get your logic with the statement of why couldn’t he do it more times. Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain are the only men to score 3000 points in a season, yet Michael only accomplished the feat once in his career. So does Rice and Jordan accomplishing those goals make them lesser of a player ? Your point is an odd one. Why didn’t Moss do it more than once? Maybe because its the NFL? Maybe because Rice was the focal point for every defense in the passing game that the 49ers faced during his career? Every teams Moss played on except the Raiders had a Qb that went to the pro bowl and multiple people on those offenses went before and after Moss was on those teams (not counting Tennessee, like not counting Seattle for Rice). I liked Irving Fryer, but he’s basically Andre Rison without out the arrest record, He does not have the backing or credentials to be apart of the conversation. Top 20 verse top 2-3, its like comparing Tony Dorsett to Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, or Emmitt Smith. As for number of Qb’s ???? who cares, Rice traveled to that became the nature of the game since the early 1990′s.  

  • Anonymous

    He did not, like I said, why, of all the seasons he played, was that year the one he scored 22tds. And I’m sick of all these old timers, you really think that if we put athletes of today on the field with those of Rice’s (late 80′s) that the latter would have the same numbers they do? Rice benefitted from having TWO HALL OF FAME QBs for the better part of his career, and a system never before seen. I’m not at all taking anything away from Rice, he’s a legend, I’m just saying that all this flak Moss is catching is bs. And by the way, NFL record of most seasons with 17 or more td’s……….Randy Moss. So then with your reasoning, no other player from Rice’s team went to the Pro Bowl before or after he left? Isn’t it funny that the QBs in Minnesota all had their career years playing with Moss? Imagine if Moss had Manning as long as Rice had Montana, then had Brady for the amount of time Rice had Young.

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.tasker Royce Tasker

    So guy, but the “athletes of today thing” is a basketball argument. Only a fool would bring that up for football player, that’s why no one does it. and for your information, Randy Moss is now an “old timer.” LOL, how old are you anyway? If you RESEARCH, you would see that Rice NEVER CROSSED THE PICKET LINE, his numbers for the season are against TRUE NFL TALENT. Stop assuming things you obviously don’t know. Even if you take away the 23 touchdowns of the ’87-’88 season, he still blows everyone out of the water. “Athletes of today”…lol. This is football son,  show me one person past or present that is the monster that Bo Jackson was physically. Bigger than A.P. and  the speed of Chris Johnson….but that goes into another conversation. Anyway, You speak of all these if, as if they were fact. The facts are that Jerry Rice is a hall of fame inducted legend of the game. His numbers are ALL legitimate, and he is able to speak his mind about Moss not using his talent the way he could have. I know its hard to accept, but it is what it is man. Jerry was a beast, and yes, he would be in any era of the sport. I mean seriously, what is the difference between the ’80′s, ’90′s, and 2000′s NFLer? The 80′s ushered in the 300 pound linemen, people ran 4.2 forty times, there are the same amount of physical freaks for every decade, and the same amount of over achievers as far as I can see. The only difference, is that the weight training is more proficient at an earlier age for athletes now. But, everyone maxes out the body’s growth potential in there mid 20′s anyway. The speed, strength, and natural gifts for the NFL are the same, so what Stephen Paea set the combine record for number of reps at 225, do you think he’s the strongest to ever lace up in the NFL, I promise he is not. Get out of your tunnel, and learn about the league, its worth it believe me. You’d love learning about guys that would match up in any era like Mel Blount or Mike Haynes. Randy was one of the best ever, but he did not give as much effort as Rice, Marvin Harrison, Steve Largent, or his mentor Chris Carter (who is seriously underrated). If, would have, could have, means nothing. his numbers were there when he wanted them to be. And, do not act like Moss never met his match through out his career. Everyone has been out done at points of their careers.