Jerry Rice has many great qualities. He is athletic, smart, a hard worker, and arguably the greatest football player of all time. But the Hall of Famer sure has a selective memory, not to mention a lack of modesty.
Rice was tweeting while watching the Saints-Falcons game on Thursday night and noted that Atlanta was making several mistakes, such as dropped passes. He then sent a tweet denying ever using the substance “Stickum” to help him catch balls:
Never used Stickum ! Don't blame me for dropped footballs. My work effort speaks for itself .#Goat
Once again Rice denies ever using Stickum, an illegal adhesive substance that made it easier for players to catch balls. It’s pretty absurd that he continues to deny using Stickum considering there is video evidence of him admitting to the contrary.
Also notice the hashtag on that tweet.”Goat” is an acronym for “greatest of all time.”
Rice’s career marks — 1,549 catches, 22,895 yards, and 197 touchdowns — certainly speak for themselves. It’s hard to imagine his receiving records will ever be broken, even in this age of pass-happy offenses. But is he better than other legends of the game like Jim Brown? Or if you want to go way back in time, one could argue that Don Hutson was a better wide receiver. Nevertheless, Rice still calls himself the GOAT.
Admitting that he used a substance that would enhance his ability to catch passes certainly would hurt his claim to being the greatest, so of course he’s going to continue to deny it.
As he watched Aaron Rodgers put on a spectacular performance on “Monday Night Football” against the Kansas City Chiefs, announcer Jon Gruden couldn’t help but reminisce about what could have been.
Gruden was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005 when the team passed on Rodgers with the No. 5 overall pick in the draft. Instead, the Bucs took Cadillac Williams, who later became Rookie of the Year but had his career derailed by injury.
Even though the Bucs took Cadillac, Gruden still worked out Rodgers before the draft. During Monday’s game, he shared the story of how he brought Jerry Rice to catch passes from Rodgers during the workout to see how the former Cal QB would handle it.
“I brought Jerry Rice with me. I brought Jerry Rice and I said, ‘Hey Aaron, you tell Rice what routes to run.’ I wanted to put some pressure on Aaron Rodgers and see how he reacted,” Gruden recalled. “I took Cadillac Williams. He was the Rookie of the Year, but just think what could have happened if you had this Aaron Rodgers. No disrespect to Cadillac Williams.
“That was quite a day. We went out there and Jerry Rice walked down the steps and Aaron Rodgers said, ‘Who’s that guy walking down the steps?’ I said, ‘that’s the receiver you’re going to throw to today.’ He grabbed me and said, ‘holy cow, that’s Jerry Rice!’ I go, ‘Yeah, tell him what routes to run.'”
Rodgers couldn’t have been too impressive considering Gruden passed him up as he slipped to No. 24 overall, but that’s an awesome story. Imagine you’re going to work out for a team and they bring you the best receiver in the history of the game to throw to. No pressure.
Rodgers actually talked about the workout back in 2011. He said Gruden called him before the draft and really made it seem like the Bucs were going to take him, but then they went in a different direction.
“But I don’t blame them at all or don’t hold any animosity toward Jon and Bruce or the organization. Everything kind of happens for a reason. Looking back on when they came out and visited me in Berkeley, that was one of my top moments in my sports career, being able to throw to Jerry Rice.”
“This is surreal to me,” Rodgers said. “I remember watching the Oakland Raiders with Jerry, Jon Gruden and Rich Gannon. I remember thinking, ‘Man, I’d love to play for Jon Gruden.'”
Sorry to add insult to injury, Bucs fans. Gruden already admitted his error, but consider that the team rolled with Brian Griese and Chris Simms at quarterback instead of picking Rodgers. That’s where you see just how bad the pick was.
That was Gruden’s downfall. After he took middling QB Rich Gannon and turned him into the league MVP, he thought he could do the same with any mediocre QB thereafter. He was wrong, and never having a franchise quarterback in Tampa Bay is what finally got him fired. But as we’re seeing, it seems like he still has questionable taste in quarterbacks.
Earlier this year, Jerry Rice admitted to using stickum during his Hall of Fame career. On Wednesday, he had little interest in re-visiting the topic.
During an interview with NBC Sports Radio, Rice was asked about his use of the substance that was banned by the NFL in 1981. He was more interested in speaking on his work ethic.
“You know the thing is, the way I worked and my work ethic and stuff like that it really speaks for itself,” Rice said via ProFootballTalk. “I’m not even going to address that anymore. When people think about me they think about the time I put in on the field.”
Rice’s work ethic is certainly something he will remembered for. His workout regimens are legendary and helped him play into his early 40s. That said, Rice didn’t answer the question about a subject he freely discussed a few months ago.
While Rice certainly wasn’t the only one to use stickum, he is generally considered the greatest wide receiver of all-time and is on the shortlist of greatest football players ever. When he admits to using an illegal substance (then blasts the Patriots for cheating) it can’t be surprising Rice would be asked about his cheating. Rice declined to speak on it this time, but it surely won’t be the last time it comes up. How long will Rice avoid the subject the way he evaded defensive backs during his playing days?
Is cheating in the NFL only an issue when the Patriots are caught doing it? Hypocritical comments from Jerry Rice indicate there could be a double-standard when the Patriots are involved in a controversy.
Rice, who is considered the greatest wide receiver of all time and possibly the greatest football player of all time, recently admitted to cheating by using illegal stickum.
Rice appeared in a video published Jan. 17 on ESPN about “The Evolution of Gloves” in football. In one clip shown in the video, Rice says he used stickum.
“I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky,” Rice said with a laugh about how he used the substance when playing.
Stickum was banned by the NFL in 1981.
Three days after the video was published on ESPN, Rice tweeted this about the “Deflategate” controversy:
11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying
Rice also said this in an interview with Jim Rome.
“I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,” Rice told Rome on January 22 regarding the controversy. “Because you have an edge up on your opponent and its unfortunate that it happened. I’m not saying the outcome of the game would have been different or anything like that because they got beat 45-7, but they still had an edge.”
So what makes (allegedly intentionally) deflating footballs to gain an edge when it comes to gripping the ball any different from applying illegal stickum to also gain an edge with gripping the ball? The two situations sound pretty similar, and the difference is the Patriots deny doing it intentionally, while Rice admitted to cheating. His comments are just as hypocritical as this guy’s, because his team was caught using steroids, which is worse than potentially intentionally deflating footballs.
NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice played in an era where cornerbacks could grab, shove and disrupt without being penalized. That didn’t stop him from setting NFL records for most receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions in a career. What if he played now?
Earlier this week, Rice was asked if there are any cornerbacks who play today that could put up a fight against him on the field.
“I really respect those guys and their talent, but my job is to be elusive off the line of scrimmage. I was always good against bump and run and being able to double-move, triple-move, get off the line of scrimmage. You don’t see a lot of that happening today, with guys being able to get a free release on the line of scrimmage.”
Rice is probably the best receiver to ever play the game. That said, it’s nearly impossible to compare players from different generations. Guys like Sherman and Revis do are able to shut down receivers even with today’s emphasis on illegal contact and pass interference, so it stands to reason that they would have been even better in Rice’s generation.
Does that mean they could have shut down Rice? Probably not. No one really could. He was just that good.
The San Francisco 49ers will find themselves under more fire than most teams this season every time they lose a game. That’s because there have been multiple reports of unrest in their locker room, with several players supposedly not getting along with head coach Jim Harbaugh.
On Tuesday, Niners legend Jerry Rice confirmed what many already suspect.
“I have heard some complaints from some players that he likes to try to coach with the collegiate mentality, and that’s just not going to work in the NFL,” Rice told Newsday’s Bob Glauber.
“Who knows what’s going to happen with Jim Harbaugh?” Rice said. “[Next year] is up for grabs. I don’t know if he wants to try to go to be a college coach or go for the big payday [in the NFL]. I think the most important thing for Jim Harbaugh to do right now is to turn this around and make it a positive and get that team believing in themselves again.”
We don’t know if it was Harbaugh’s decision to call a quarterback sneak with 10 seconds remaining against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, but it was a questionable one. The Niners are now 4-4 with tough games remaining against the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks (twice), San Diego Chargers and Arizona Cardinals. If Harbaugh’s team misses the playoffs, the decision to fire him will probably be an easy one.
There are very few people that would make an argument for anyone but Jerry Rice as the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. Rice performed at a high level for more than 20 seasons, which is unheard of in football. He holds NFL records for career receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and receiving touchdowns (197). Could Calvin Johnson eventually dethrone the San Francisco 49ers legend?
Johnson is in his seventh NFL season and is roughly one-third of the way to Rice’s records in most categories. That means he is technically on pace to challenge those marks, but playing 20-plus seasons is an amazing feat — let alone doing it at an effective level. Rice recently alluded to that.
“I think it’s great that they’re still talking about me after my career’s over. (Johnson) still has a ways to go,” Rice told USA Today Sports on Tuesday. “We’re just going to let this guy continue to develop, and if he should break the majority of my records or break all my records, I’ll be the first one to congratulate him. But I know the sacrifice that you have to put into it. It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work.”
It takes a little luck, too. Johnson has missed only four games in his career, so he has been able to remain relatively healthy. That being said, he has dealt with some injuries that result in stretches of ineffective play. Staying on the field when he’s in his mid-30s will be a challenge. However, Rice said he believes Megatron has become more than just a physical force.
“I think (Johnson) has gotten so much better route running, and he doesn’t just rely on his jumping ability anymore,” Rice said. “That’s why he’s called Megatron. He’s a hell of a lot (to handle) on that football field. Right now he’s had about (63) touchdowns and he’s going strong. I wish him the best. I know what type of work ethic he has. He’s a complete player.
“When you’re so dominant in college and you’re such a big body, you’re so physical and so unstoppable, you don’t focus on just the little things. Now, I think (Johnson) wants to be the complete player.”
Could Johnson be the most physically dominant receiver to ever play? I’d argue that he is, though I’d still be surprised to see him topple Rice’s records. Sustaining success for that long just doesn’t happen.