“Pele huh? I like that, you know he’s a living legend?!”
As are you Jerry! I’m immediately struck by the modestly of the man, myself and Liz are talking with a Hall of Famer who some consider to be the best NFL player of all time regardless of position, so that’s not Brady, not Montana, not Favre, Manning, Marino or even Jim Brown, this medium sized website from the UK has an interview with the Jerry Rice.
Rice had a somewhat modest upbringing in a small town in Mississippi where if you want to ride a horse for the day you have to chase and catch your own! He would go to work with his father in the building trade and spend his time catching bricks! The world of running away from wide receivers and catching balls must have been easy compared to that, and with nearly every receiving record going Jerry certainly makes a case for hard work.
“(it’s a) whole different demographic of people (in the NFL) now, (for me it was) hard work, no short cuts, and I had to earn everything, difficult work taught me toughness.”
Jerry Rice won 3 Superbowl’s with the San Francisco 49ers, and played in one more with the Raiders, and is a clear leader in arguably all of the most important receiving records – receptions, yards and touchdowns. Interestingly Julian Edelman just moved into second place in post season receiving yards with 1412 yards ahead of Michael Irvin in third with 1315 yards, yet Rice still leads by another 813 yards! Crazy good numbers.
“Records are great but it was winning trophies for the city of San Francisco that mattered most. Fans had paid their hard earned money and I wanted them to experience greatness on the football field.”
Every season we talk about whether a defensive player could win league MVP, but it never happens, now more than ever it seems to be the quarterback position that is default at the head of the race. A wide receiver has never won MVP, but Jerry Rice did help Joe Montana win the award in 1989 and 1990, then Steve Young in 1992 and 1994, so could a receiver ever win the award?
“the way the game is going is more of a passing game, receivers will have more opportunities, back in the day 4 or 5 touches was standard, now it’s over 10 or more so someone will get it due to the amount of opportunities”
Maybe Calvin Johnson was the last true contender?
“oh my god, I’ve never seen a guy who was 6” 5’ or just generally as big as CJ, the way he went down the field at speed was just incredible”
The NFL offense has been through a huge change in the last 5 years, the Rams under Shaun McVey, Mahomes and the Chiefs, and teams looking for new head coaches are trying to findthe ‘next great offensive mind’, we’ve seen Head Coach jobs for Sean McVey disciples this off season in Zak Taylor and Matt LeFleur. The NFL offense is adapting to the college offense, moving away from the more traditional schemes like ‘West Coast’.
“(its) become more collegiate-like because they need the players from college to come in and make a difference immediately. I’m stunned to see that happen but now you see (the players) adapt so much faster”
In Jerry Rice’s own college days the offence was no different, the high flying O was nicknamed the Satellite Express, it looks like college schemes have remained the same while the NFL has been forced to adapt. If a quarterback was great in a college offense, yet there was no indication that they would be able to adapt to the NFL offense, then why not just play with a scheme that QB is comfortable with, perhaps Tebow and Manziel would have been better served if they were rookies just 5 years later.
“In college we’d throw the ball 90% of the time, the ball was always in the air, you needed to be in such great shape and have a supportive line to keep the quarterback upright, like Brady today, people cannot get their hands on him.”
Jerry Rice has just been named an Ambassador for NFLUK where he will be over next season promoting the sport and “giving knowledge” about the game. It doesn’t stop there though, look out for Jerry mixing it with fans at events and even nights out;
“to be able to make someone’s day just buy signing an autograph I am very fortunate, I love to be around people who love football”
A huge thanks to Jerry for speaking with us and agent Sasha for organising such a fantastic opportunity!
Picture from https://www.sbnation.com