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Rice surprised to hear Moss declare himself the greatest

Jerry Rice AP

Randy Moss said yesterday he thought he was the greatest receiver in league history.

Then the 49ers receiver said it again today, though he went on at length about how much respect he has for Jerry Rice.

But after the first volley, Rice himself admitted he was surprised to hear Moss say it.

I’m very surprised Randy Moss used that in those words, that he’s the greatest,” Rice said on ESPN’s NFL Live, via Yahoo Sports. “You’d never hear me say I’m the greatest football player to ever play the game. I let my body of work speak for itself, and I think I was able to be very productive on the football field.”

Moss’s larger point was that he considered his ability to knock the top off a defense with his deep ball ability more of a game-changer, saying he wasn’t as concerned about stats (of which Rice has more).

“You have to look at the stats, you have to look at how you impacted the game, and it’s all about winning this right here, this is it, the Super Bowl, and I was fortunate to win three,” Rice said. “Randy he finally has a chance to prove himself this weekend, and I wish him the best.”

Moss is entitled to his confidence, and after watching two day’s worth of press conferences, my wish is that he’d talk more often, because he can be insightful.

But flaps such as this, and the inevitable blowback, will probably, sadly, drive Moss back into his shell.

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46 Responses to “Rice surprised to hear Moss declare himself the greatest”
  1. golforepar says: Jan 30, 2013 2:00 PM

    Moss sounds like a guy that needs some concussion tests done!

  2. tangeuray says: Jan 30, 2013 2:00 PM

    This reminds me of when Alex was defending himself for not having 300 yard passing games. Alex went on to say if your throwing for 300 yards like Cam Newton week in and out your usually losing. I think what Moss is trying to say is much of what he is doing goes unseen. These 49ers under Harbaugh are not about stats but about winning games.

  3. hgulkkcaj says: Jan 30, 2013 2:03 PM

    Adrian Peterson may end up the best running back ever to play the game, and there’s virtually no chance he will win a Super Bowl ring in his career. Football is a team sport, Rice. The number of rings you have doesn’t make you the best player ever at your position. It takes a lot more than a good receiver to win a SB.

  4. robertocfg says: Jan 30, 2013 2:05 PM

    Moss is a great receiver, and probably the best pure deep threat. As he says, his ability to take the top of a defense is probably unrivaled.

    However, it’s about the greatest RECEIVER, not the greatest deep-threat receiver. While Rice probably was not as good stretching the field as Moss (although still very good at that), his overall game and ability to play all over the field make it easy to chose him as the best receiver ever.

  5. mi6agent says: Jan 30, 2013 2:05 PM

    This thing has been blown out of proportion. Ray Lewis loves attention. Media should have given more ink and airtime to him.

  6. stigman2012 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:06 PM

    Has Jerry met Randy?

  7. enasty610 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:08 PM

    Don’t get me wrong rice was great. But you also can’t ignore the fact he had 2 hall of fame qbs for almost his whole career. I mean manning and Brady make all their wr look amazing when the ball is always on the money like Montana and young. I think miss has way more talent then rice but moss had garbage qbs his whole career except for te couple he was with Brady at a older age and look what he did on those years set records. Imagine if he had Brady or manning his whole career with the numbers he already put up with garbage he would have easily broke all of rices records easily.

  8. eastcoastniner says: Jan 30, 2013 2:09 PM

    I hope this lights a fire under Randy and he has the game of his career to help us win. I think both Jerry and I could live with that.

    Go Niners!

  9. terraj35 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:11 PM

    It woulda been interesting to see Moss could have done with Montana and Young throwing to him his whole career. Receiving starts are credited to a receiver but there’s a lot more to it than one man.

  10. terraj35 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:12 PM

    I don’t believe Moss is the greatest receiver ever but to say Rice is the best receiver because of stats is to say Emmitt Smith is the best RB ever and that’s deff not true.

  11. jrock3x8 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:14 PM

    I think Randy has more talent. Rice had unquestionably better dedication.

  12. nineroutsider says: Jan 30, 2013 2:14 PM

    @hgulkkcaj says: Jan 30, 2013 2:03 PM

    Adrian Peterson may end up the best running back ever to play the game, and there’s virtually no chance he will win a Super Bowl ring in his career. Football is a team sport, Rice. The number of rings you have doesn’t make you the best player ever at your position. It takes a lot more than a good receiver to win a SB.
    ————————————————————
    I get the feeling you never watched Rice play? He is the greatest WR to ever play until proven otherwise and it hasn’t been done yet.

    Even Giants fans, who seem particularly bitter with 9er fans today for no apparent reason besides jealousy (deep down do they think the 9ers were the better team last year?), have to admit that Rice is the greatest of all time. Well except for Victor Cruz, and Nicks, and Tyree, and Barden, and that rookie who I can’t remember…

  13. stevemo says: Jan 30, 2013 2:17 PM

    Are Rice’s “You’ll never hear me call myself the best. Just look at the stats”-like responses supposed to demonstrate his modesty?

  14. bobhk says: Jan 30, 2013 2:21 PM

    Why do folks keep saying that Rice did not have as much ability to stretch the field as Moss.

    Go look at the stats. Rice’s YPC was 20.4 in one season and many seasons it was more than what Moss had.

  15. johntonioholmes says: Jan 30, 2013 2:22 PM

    “I’m very surprised Randy Moss used that in those words, that he’s the greatest,” Rice said on ESPN’s NFL Live, via Yahoo Sports. “You’d never hear me say I’m the greatest football player to ever play the game. I let my body of work speak for itself, and I think I was able to be very productive on the football field.”

    Every time Rice talks, he makes it known that he owns every receiving record. More power to him, as far as I’m concerned, but it’s not like he isn’t a bit full of himself either.

    And frankly, Moss would own every record if he played in a good system his entire career. I mean, imagine if the Colts got him in 1998 with Manning. Game over, NFL.

  16. questforthesixthnotthelast2013 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:24 PM

    Moss definately had the harder way about it, i mean the coaching wasnt that great there in Mini. Id argue that before all else!
    take a breath everyone, its almost time for the show. Cant wait for the whistle, lets just let them play!

  17. j0esixpack says: Jan 30, 2013 2:24 PM

    Randy needs to learn that it’s up to OTHER people to declare one the “greatest”

    The fact that he’s proclaiming himself the greatest, may itself disqualify him.

  18. billb49 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:25 PM

    To those of you who think Moss would have been the greatest if he played with Montana and Young, please remember that Moss would have had to run more than just the 9 route. To play with those guys, Rice had to run all the routes including across the middle, the slant, the come back. Moss was basically perfect at the 9 route, but that’s all.

  19. bigbluecrew420 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:29 PM

    Best reciever ever is Megatron. Who would you want on your team in his prime???

    Calvin Megatron Johnson

  20. scoregasmic says: Jan 30, 2013 2:29 PM

    Rice isn’t saying he’s the greatest….but he’s saying he’s the greatest

  21. thejohnsmith1122 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:38 PM

    Sorry Moss, just having the deep threat ability doesn’t make you the greatest receiver of all time. True, it’s BIG plays when the ball comes your way but that in itself doesn’t make you the greatest.

    If it does…then Tebow also has an argument to be considered “elite” with his intangibles.

  22. fanofevilempire says: Jan 30, 2013 2:40 PM

    Randy get a Lombardy for the 49ers and you can be what ever you want buddy.

  23. peytonwantsaflag says: Jan 30, 2013 2:40 PM

    So basically Rice is surprised because he considers himself the greatest.

  24. patriotsdefense says: Jan 30, 2013 2:41 PM

    Jerry Rice needs to stop crying and be thankful everyday that he played with 3 MVPs, 2 HOFs (Montana, Young, Gannon).

    If Randy Moss had that his whole career he’d have better numbers than Rice. Who cares though? Only a diva cares about stats, football is a team game. No one is catching 1 pass if the offensive line doesn’t block.

  25. raiders757 says: Jan 30, 2013 2:42 PM

    A quitter like Randy Moss has no business being considered the greatest at anything no matter his stats. A true professional, a true champion, and someone who is truly the greatest at his position, would never quit on a route or quite on his team, ever. Randy Moss has quit on more than one team, and taken so many plays off while still being on the field, that it blows my mind that anyone would try and defend him.

  26. nyfcat says: Jan 30, 2013 2:43 PM

    It’s not about what Moss said.

    It’s the fact that he’s saying “the best” during a 28-catch season, with a 49ers logo on the side of his helmet.

    Rice was still a #1 WR at Moss’ age. Heck.. he was a #1 WR at 41.

  27. vicnocal says: Jan 30, 2013 2:43 PM

    It’s true that there has never been a deep threat quite like Randy Moss.
    Make no mistake, Jerry Rice is a huge egomaniac. It’s funny to see him get his panties in a bunch over Moss’s comments and go with the “I’m not going to say I’m the greatest, I’ll just let my stats and my rings do the talking and let people decide.” Yeah, OK, Jerry. You also were fortunate to be on some of the greatest teams of all time, with some of the greatest QBs of all time, and some of the greatest coaches of all time.

  28. eatitfanboy says: Jan 30, 2013 2:44 PM

    Jerry Rice was one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve ever seen. His offseason work outs were legendary. No one has ever done more with his talents.

    Moss is one of the most naturally gifted athletes I’ve ever seen. His speed and athleticism are legendary. There is little doubt in my mind that if he had been more dedicated and more of a go along to get along type of guy, he could have accomplished alot more with his talents.

    If this were a question of on-field accomplishments, Rice certainly wins the debate. If it’s god-given natural talent, Moss wins.

    Neither would be wrong to consider themselves the greatest.

  29. BigBeachBall says: Jan 30, 2013 2:54 PM

    Relax, moss is just tooling the media to play head games with the ravens d coordinator… People take his words too seriously…

  30. officialmiamidolphinsspokesperson says: Jan 30, 2013 2:57 PM

    Rice had the better career and if you go by career stats then sure it is Rice. But Moss in his prime was definitely the best WR of all time if you just look at how good he was at his best. Rice had hall of fame QB’s (montana and Young) and played on rockstar teams for virtually his entire career and was very fortunate to do so. If he played on the same teams as Moss did then his numbers would be dwarfed by Moss’s.

    Moss played on a good team with HOF QB one season. His numbers that season were better than anything Rice ever put up. And that was actually AFTER Moss’s prime. For goodness sake Moss made Culpepper an MVP runner up one year!

    Some of you might absolutely scoff at this whole deal. But to you I ask that you do one thing for me. Go to youtube and compare Moss’s career highlights (actually just his Vikings highlights because that was his prime IMO) with Rice’s career highlights. Moss was like a taller faster Rice with better hands and more leaping ability and has several times as many jaw dropping highlights despite a shorter career with terrible QB’s most of the time.

    Most of Rice’s damage was on simple routes with precise passes from HOF QB’s. Most of Moss’s damage was done on balls thrown halfassed into the air by average or sub-par QB’s that nobody will remember in 10 years.

    It is real. Moss in his prime was a better weapon at the WR position for a significant period of time than any other player in NFL history.

  31. gochargersgo says: Jan 30, 2013 3:01 PM

    Moss’ disappearance in Oakland probably forever removed him from the conversation of greatest receiver of all time. Most talented? Maybe. But the greatest would never give up on a team the way he did.

  32. bigblue5611 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:03 PM

    Moss was a complete no show in the 2001 NFC championship game against the Giants got destroyed 41-0 and did ZERO. Also was shut down in the Super Bowl with Pats against Giants

    Randy didn’t get it done in the playoffs plain and simple

  33. goldrush36 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:05 PM

    Most of Rice’s yardage was after the catch. Yes having Young and Montana helped but Jerry did most of that work with his legs after getting the ball. He perfected the slant in taking a 5 yd pass 50,60, 70 yds on a consistent basis. Moss is currently #2 in my mind but let’s get off the QB excuse. Megatron beasted without Stafford and Rice still beasted with the likes of Grbac, Gannon, Bono etc… In the end Johnson will surpass Moss if not Jerry as well and Jerry wont have a problem with it because Calvin is a class act. Now with all that said I believe Moss said this intentionally to distract the media from hounding Colin/Alex as much. He isn’t stupid enough to go out and cause a rift 5 days before his likely last shot at a ring.

  34. greenejoemean says: Jan 30, 2013 3:06 PM

    To me you have to ask who made the most of their playing time on the field. That answer is Rice. The words if and but cant be used when debating history.
    Example, If Moss would of had Montana. Guess what. I hardly believe Walsh would of put up with Moss that long enough for Montana and Moss to be a special duo. You can’t change history. Moss was great but Rice was greater.

  35. vavikingfan says: Jan 30, 2013 3:10 PM

    Randy Moss “I play when I want to play.” He had as much talent as anyone but I watched him lay down in game after game so I guess it’s how you define greatness. I had some very talented people working for me, but if they didn’t show up for work, how good were they?

  36. dmface says: Jan 30, 2013 3:10 PM

    First off, for all the people that say “well Rice had 2 HOF Qb’s throwing him the ball”. While that is true, Rice was not the only receiver on the field. Regardless of who is throwing the ball you have to have skills. Who is a better receiver? Of course it is Rice. Rice had the ability to catch the ball deep and catch the ball for 10 yards and run for 40 or 50 or more. Moss is not know for getting at lot of YAC. I would rather have a receiver who is a deep threat and get YAC. I did check some Rice highlights on You Tube and say alot of deep TD catches. Rice was still productive even when Garcia and Gannon were throwing him the ball.

  37. runtheball says: Jan 30, 2013 3:21 PM

    Montana and Young were not Rice’s bigger advantage. It was the 49er running game with Craig and later Watters. In those days defense was predicated on stopping the run. Now they play the run on the way to the QB.

  38. goldrush36 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:24 PM

    Moss only broke the single season TD record in 2007 in an extremely pass happy offense. Jerry had better seasons in every single category otherwise so research would help. He also did so on teams that repeatedly had REAL rushing attacks as well.

  39. tjacks7 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:25 PM

    If Super Bowl rings make you a better wide receiver than another receiver, does that mean Trent Dilfer is a better receiver than Moss too?

  40. ikeman20 says: Jan 30, 2013 3:32 PM

    JR is so fake humble its irritating. Moss was giving HIS opinion on himself. So basically JR commented because he is so used to everybody especially media giving him bj. I dont think JR is the only WR in the hof..so fake modest. .How many great athletes dont be feeling themselves? Is it because moss dared to be vocal? Media and some fans acting like he broke some kind of law..and why is moss saying he is the best taken as some diss of JR?

  41. bobhk says: Jan 30, 2013 4:12 PM

    tjacks7 says:
    Jan 30, 2013 3:25 PM
    If Super Bowl rings make you a better wide receiver than another receiver, does that mean Trent Dilfer is a better receiver than Moss too?
    ———
    Let’s get it right. Rice has better stats than Moss AND more superbowl rings.

    It’s bs to say Moss was a bigger deep threat. Go look at their YPC and Rice had a season with 20.4 YPC and several other with over 18 yards per catch.

    So, please can it.

  42. shaunypoo says: Jan 30, 2013 4:13 PM

    Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

    Jerry did it all and made it look effortless. Randy ran straight and made it look effortless. Jerry was a very good blocker. Randy is a turnstile. They could both score on 80 yard receptions, but Randy could only do it on one route while Jerry could catch a 5 yard out route and go all the way.

    And both Young and Montana were great, but how much had to do with playing with a workhorse like Rice?

  43. mnvikes7897 says: Jan 30, 2013 6:07 PM

    Shouldn’t be. He is.

  44. noring4youstill says: Jan 30, 2013 6:14 PM

    Yeah Rice you just said that though and let us not forget your Raider years…….

  45. giablommi says: Jan 30, 2013 6:18 PM

    If you’ve been paying attention through the years, Jerry Rice has always had a bug up his @$$ about Randy Moss. He tried to delegitimize Moss’s record breaking 2007 TD record because Randy Moss did it in 16 games which Rice did it in like 12.
    Therefore not surprised to see Rice take umbrage with Randy’s statement.

    I’d love to know the reason why Jerry is such a Moss-hater, because there is definitely something there.

  46. pdgreat1 says: Jan 31, 2013 12:05 AM

    “Who is a better receiver? Of course it is Rice.”
    Receiver is an amalgam of so many skills.
    Better route runner – Rice, no question. Best ever.
    Best Go receiver – Moss. No question. Best ever.
    High-point skils – Moss is uncanny at timing his formidable leap.
    Body control – Watch tape of Moss adjust to a Brad Johnson wabbler on the sideline and taptouch is way to a catch. Rice is certainly outstanding as well, but not the near gumby capability of Moss
    Hands – Rice had incredibly soft hands and religiously brought everything in. Moss’ hands are different. He dropped more than he should. But, he’d pull in stuff that Rice couldn’t.
    Catching radius – Moss is ridiculous with his length and hands.

    The tale of the tape – Rice is the greatest because he willed himself to be (and had some help from the best along the way). Let’s not forget that when Moss did have a stud QB, he broke Rice’s record for single season receiving TD’s. Randy Moss was as great as he chose to be. Just not the greatest. SKOL!

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