John Harbaugh likes what he sees from Jerry Rice Jr.


Jerry Rice Jr. is a long shot to make the Ravens’ roster, having been given a training camp tryout after being mostly a backup and special teams guy in college. But so far, coach John Harbaugh likes what he sees from the son of the greatest receiver in NFL history.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you, Jerry Rice, Jr. has done a nice job,” Harbaugh said. “First of all, he is a really good athlete. He doesn’t have his dad’s size, but he’s sure got his athleticism. When you watch him run, he runs in a real similar way. And the other thing is he’s got that West Coast offense down. He has probably had that playbook since he was in the cradle. He knows all the rules on the crossing routes and what to do, very good hands, very smooth athlete. He did a real nice job.”

It wouldn’t be fair to the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Rice to ask him to be the player his dad was. But Rice Jr. says he embraces the expectations that come with his name and his bloodlines, and he challenges himself to try to live up to his father.

“It’s something I’ve been born with,” he said. “I don’t know any better. But you can take it two ways. You can either burn yourself up about it or you can take it as a challenge. So I definitely take it as a challenge. I mean, why not try to be the greatest? You’ve got one chance to do this, why not try to be your best?”

Can Rice stick around with the Ravens beyond this weekend’s tryout?

“I think it’s gone well,” Rice Jr. said. “Regardless of how everything goes, because I know it’s a business, I enjoyed it and I think I did well and I’m proud of myself. All I can do is be thankful for this opportunity.”

Rice Jr. said his dad’s only advice before minicamp was to work hard. That advice served his dad well in the NFL, and it will serve Rice Jr. well whether he ends up making it to the NFL or not.

65 responses to “John Harbaugh likes what he sees from Jerry Rice Jr.

  1. I take Coach Harbaugh’s comments as very positive. The challenge will be for Jerry Rice Jr. to realize he is not his father and just be the best he can be.

    If JR Jr. has even half of his Dad’s ability as a WR he can make it!! Attitude counts for a lot and it looks like he has it. JR Sr. was the best WR in history. Even if modern QB/WR pairs have better numbers, it does not change the fact that Montana/Rice were the best tandem of their time. And among the very best of all time.

  2. He was a favor in HS, a favor at UCLA, and now come on… he would be a favor for Ozzie to put in as an assistant to the quality control assistant. This is the answer to, “How far can your name get you in the NFL?”

  3. I pray this kid makes it. So hard to follow in your dads footsteps when he was the best in his position in the ultimate game. The kid has got the best teacher in the world. He will not be Jerry Rice, no one can. He will make it in this league. He has smarts, and skills.

  4. 20 receptions for 155 yards and 1 TD in his college career and he gets an NFL tryout? I mean he transfers from UCLA probably because of lack of playing time, which I get. But you would figure he’d at least put up some decent numbers at UNLV. Nope.

    I didn’t even play college football, and he barely outproduced me! Nepotism at its finest, I guess. I wish him well, but sometimes the NFL scouting process and decision making is mind boggling.

  5. JR jr’s stats in college:

    2012 7-0 7 52 7.4 0 20
    2011 2-0 2 17 8.5 0 10
    2010 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

    TOTAL 9 catches for 69 yards and no TDs in 4 Years.

    Good Luck Jerry. The family business may not be for you, but you’ll be aight

  6. I love this kid’s chances. Just so happy he’s not on a garbage/bottom feeder team like the Redskins, Patriots, or Steelers. Brady and Roethlisberger are old men and washed up and RGIII is a one legged has been.

  7. He does know that Deion Sanders was the reason the 49er’s won Super Bowl 29, right?

  8. Maybe he’ll make it with the Seahawks and get them to “temporarily” unretire Steve Largent’s 80 jersey for him as well.

  9. It’s more than fair to expect him to be the player his father was.
    If you carry the name, you gotta bring the game.
    Jerry Sr. should be embarrassed and ashamed if his kid doesn’t a least become an All-Pro.

  10. Jesus put his hand on a person and he was healed ! Jesus went up to another who was eating chitterlings and that person said to Jesus “don’t touch me man I’m on disability”

  11. great attitude from the kid, wish him all the luck in the world just wish he’d get on with another team and not the Ratbirds LOL, now on another note..Jerry Rices kid but from the pic he looks more like Randy Moss Jr.

  12. Anyone who ‘s watched their receivers try to run routes knows he has a great shot at making this team.

  13. “Yeah, I’ll tell you, Jerry Rice, Jr. has done a nice job,” Harbaugh said. “First of all, he is a really good athlete. He doesn’t have his dad’s size. Or hands. Or speed. Or route-running precision. Or work ethic. But other than that, he’s a chip off the old block!”

  14. First of all, why did Ray name his son Jerry and furthermore, why is he a Jr.? At least the Raves can say they have ONE Rice who doesn’t beat women.

  15. elevator Ray…that’s a good one. I am still waiting for you to demand the Steelers cut Mike Adams for lying to the police, but since he’s a Steelers I will just have to wait for your excuses

  16. Look, I think everyone knows the kid’s a long-shot at best, Harbaugh included. But Jim’s a class-act and he’s putting in a good word for whatever team — NFL, CFL, Arena — is next to give the kid a shot. Can’t be the only one to interpret it this way…

  17. I’ll tell ya why Ditka… Cause he had like 9 receptions in four years of college… Maybe he should have focused on the academic aspect instead of the well my dad can get me a job. In fact his old man should have told him

  18. Harbaugh has a future in the Republican Party if football doesn’t work out.

    No, he actually has a better shot in the democrat party, after all, the least amount of creds you have on your resume, (if you are able to even produce one), the better chance you will have to win it all. Checkmate.

  19. “Next up: Barry Sanders Jr.”

    Barry Jr should finally get some quality PT at Stanford this fall. In the few touches he’s gotten, he flashes his dad’s running style and looks like he’s got game. Can’t wait to see the kid tote the rock for the Trees.

  20. A gracious coach makes some nice comments about a kid everyone knows is not going to be an NFL player, and Steeler trolls feel compelled to talk smack. This must be what happens when your entire life revolves around a pro football team that has not had a winning record in several years.

  21. Lol. He likes what he sees from everybody. Is there anybody here that even takes anything this guy says seriously?

  22. “Anyone who ‘s watched their receivers try to run routes knows he has a great shot at making this team.”

    At least they don’t have to teach them to stay in bounds when they have an open path to the end zone for the game winning TD.

  23. He should have transferred to Tulane with Joe’s kid at QB. What college coach could sit a Montana to Rice combo?

  24. I look at it this way. If Rice Jr. has even half the speed of his father, Flacco will be under throwing him by ten yards.
    Maybe it’s a good thing that he play elsewhere. You’ve invested $20 mil in Mr.Mediocrity. You don’t want to make him look bad or hurt his feelings.

  25. 31 other coaches would say the same thing if asked the question. Harbaugh is not going to trash the kid. Moreover, why is anyone surprised that the kid gets a tryout because of his name? It happens all the time in this country at all levels of business. It’s not going to change, so deal with it.

  26. Free publicity.

    Its great that he’s humble and all – but lets be frank here – 9 catches in 4 years at collegiate level should not get you even the smallest look at NFL level – it really shouldn’t.

    I’ve alos noticed people saying that he isn’t ‘taking anyones spot’ – well sure he is, there are plenty of more deserving UDFA’s that could do with the sort of attention Rice Jr is being paid by the head coach, no less!

  27. I hope he’s successful in whatever he ends up doing, because he seems to have a good attitude and they seem to be a decent family. But I hope if he makes it, it truly is because he earns it; otherwise he’ll be taking a spot from another hard working kid who probably didn’t grow up with a superstar father primarily because of his name.

  28. Jerry Rice Sr. The most egotisical man from any sport I have ever seen!
    Hope his kid makes it on his own.
    But remember, it was Bill Parcells Giants who stopped the 3 peat, put Montana in a coma, and we never let up!

  29. For those calling out his lack of production in college – pretty sure Matt Cassell never took a legitimate snap in college and he took a patriots team to 11-5. You just never know….

  30. Too bad this kid couldn’t be on a better team. The Ravens are about as low-grade as it gets. Blech.

  31. As a wide receiver, this kid doesnt have the speed to outperform cornerbacks. Too slow. Bigger and heavier guys like Eric Ebron and other tight ends run a better 40 time than him. It’s the big league now where only real men play. It’s not a boys game anymore. Junior don’t stand a chance.

  32. The Ravens, with all of their kind words, let JR Jr. slip by. Quoting KRON (SF) “The Ravens declined to sign the 5-foot-11, 185-pound undrafted receiver, but will be keeping him on the team’s emergency call list, according to ESPN”.

    Next stop: a workout with the Niners. I HOPE some team will give him a real try. I think he has the stuff. All he needs is a chance to prove himself.

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