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?
- Jerry Rice
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
— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) January 21, 2015
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.
“Richard Sherman, Revis Island, Patrick Peterson — they can’t handle me, though,” Rice told Bleacher Report on Wednesday. “They don’t have a chance.
“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.
Last month, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported with confidence that Harbaugh will not be back in San Francisco next season. That was consistent with what Deion Sanders had already said about the 49ers players wanting Harbaugh out.
“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.
Jerry Rice: Calvin Johnson has ‘a lot of work to do’ to be considered best wide receiver of all time
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.
Helmet smack to Tha Cover 2
Randy Moss made waves during the week leading up to the Super Bowl when he confidently proclaimed himself to be the greatest receiver to ever play in the NFL. Jerry Rice was not shy in expressing how strongly he disagrees with Moss, and he pointed to statistics and championship rings to argue that he, not Moss, is the best ever.
Naturally, Rice’s former quarterback also believes Moss is mistaken. During an appearance on PFT Live on Tuesday, Joe Montana talked about the differences between Moss and Rice.
“I just think that he can’t do all the things that Jerry could do,” Montana said. “Randy will get behind you and he’s pretty good at going up and down the field. But going across the middle and catching little 10-yard crosses and 5-yard shallow crosses and turning them into a big play by making people miss, that’s not going to happen. He may outrun you, but he’s not going to make you miss.
“He’s a great receiver, but he’s not Jerry Rice.”
One of the arguments Moss supporters will make is that Rice played with tremendous quarterbacks. Moss, on the other hand, bounced around throughout his career and played with some signal-callers who were average at best, with the exception of Tom Brady for more than three seasons and Brett Favre for a handful of games.
Moss may be the most physically-gifted receiver to ever play, but no one ever questioned Rice’s effort or work ethic. Whether you agree or not, the comments that Bill Romanowski made about Moss on Sunday would never have been made about Rice during his career. Had Randy given 100% effort throughout his 14-year career and continued his career the way it started, he would have certainly had a chance to be the best. Rice simply did it more consistently and for a longer time period.
Randy Moss has said hardly anything to this point in his first season with the San Francisco 49ers, but he may have tossed out the quote of the week at Super Bowl media day on Tuesday. While answering questions from writers and reporters on Monday, Moss labeled himself the greatest receiver of all time.
“I don’t live off numbers,” Moss said when asked about how much of a roller coaster his career has been, via Boston.com. “I live off impact. So I really do think that I’m the greatest receiver to play this game.”
Jerry Rice was quick to disagree with Moss and asked that their numbers be compared. Of course, ESPN obliged: