Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice created a statistical bar that never may be matched or beaten. Rice believes that, if he were playing today, he’d be even better.
“First of all, the game really favors the wide receiver now, because you can’t put your hands on him,” Rice told Brother from Another, which is on location today and tomorrow in Lake Tahoe. “Linebackers can’t take shots at you coming across the middle anymore. It’s kind of hard because it’s hypothetical, I probably might be able to like double everything.”
Given what he did at a time when the sport was much more brutal than it now is, it’s hard to doubt him. Watch any game from his era. Receivers got banged around all day long. With greater freedom to run his routes and to catch passes without the risk of getting blown up, Rice probably would be even more dominant now than he was then.
So when will another Jerry Rice come along and put up double his numbers? We’re still waiting for that next receiver who combines incredible God-given talent with a relentless work ethic and desire that involves never talking days off or plays off and always trying to get the most out of every snap in which he’s involved.