(Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers)
Talk of Fame Network
Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver in NFL history and a guy Mike Shanahan once called the greatest player in his NFL history, is this week’s guest on the Talk of Fame Network’s radio broadcast, and he attacks a wide range of subjects as he attacked cornerbacks – running through subjects from Dez Bryant’s non-catch to his success with the 49ers to speed in receivers and how it’s overvalued.
“You never want to leave the game in the hands of the officials,” he said of Bryant’s catch-non-catch in last weekend’s playoff loss to Green Bay. “It’s just an unfortunate play, but everybody’s got to abide by the rule. You have to come down with the ball.”
Rice came down with the ball again and again in his career, retiring as the NFL’s career leader in receptions, yards receiving, touchdowns … you name it … en route to becoming a 12-time All-Pro, Super Bowl MVP, member of the league’s 75th anniversary team and the greatest to play his position.
Of course, that’s easy to say now. But when he was drafted in 1985 he slipped to the 16th spot before the San Francisco 49ers traded with New England to take him. Critics said the 49ers were gambling on a productive small-college receiver who couldn’t run, but the 49ers saw Rice differently – with former coach Bill Walsh later saying what impressed him about Rice was that he never saw him caught from behind.
So he chose him, and guess who looks smarter.
“If I had to line up and run a 40, I couldn’t do it,” said Rice. “It didn’t register with me. But if I had guys chasing me could run 4.2 because I knew those guys were trying to hurt me. So that gave me extra incentive to run a little bit faster.
“I think the 40 yard dash is overrated. I knew I had football speed. I didn’t have track speed. I had football speed, and it was just enough to run away from people.”
Rice is one of several notable guests as the network runs through Week Three of its Super Bowl Heroes series. Hall-of-Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott and Hall-of-Fame finalists Jimmy Johnson and Tim Brown make cameo appearances as Rick, Ron and Clark profile this year’s Class of 2015 candidates – with the emphasis on Brown and Charles Haley, six-time finalists, as well as coaches Tony Dungy, Don Coryell and Johnson.
In addition, Rick tells us why it’s wise to pay attention to defenses that can score – especially now – while Ron profiles former San Francisco wide receiver Billy Wilson and makes his case for Canton. All three guys toss around this weekend’s conference championship games, with them reaching the same conclusion, while Ron tells us why … and how … the Patriots were able to outmaneuver Baltimore to get here. That, plus the two-minute drill and this week in NFL history, makes this week’s Talk of Fame Network radio broadcast one not to miss.