(Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Steelers)
By Clark Judge
Talk of Fame Network
NEW YORK — There’s one wide receiver in today’s game who has Jerry Rice’s attention, and it’s not Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green or Dez Bryant. It’s Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown. In fact, when I sat down with the Hall of Fame receiver this week he named Brown as the best of the game’s young wideouts.
“He’s killing it right now,” said Rice, here to promote the MetLife Premier Client Group. “I had the opportunity to talk to this guy, and he tried to get in my head. He wanted to know my workout regimen and how did I sustain for so many years. I just told him it was all about work ethic and never getting complacent and never getting to a point where you feel like you can relax now.
“And you lead by example. If you’re a good leader, other receivers are going to follow. And you see some of those young guys doing that now.”
Brown is the NFL’s leading receiver and is on pace to wind up with 126 catches, 1770 yards and 14 touchdowns. But that’s not all. He’s produced at least five catches for 50 or more yards in 25 consecutive games, at least five catches for 80 or more yards in his last 11 starts and 21 receptions for 277 yards and three TDs in his last two.
Of course, Brown is not alone at the top. There’s a gaggle of wideouts Rice admires, with the former 49ers and Raiders’ star mentioning Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald — though, as he admitted, Johnson has been slowed by injuries and Fitzgerald is no longer the lone star in Arizona.
“You’re looking at a beast when you’re looking at Calvin Johnson,” he said. “A guy who can jump and can run. And Larry Fitzgerald … to see him snatch that 80-yarder (vs. Philadelphia) and run from everybody reminded me a little bit of somebody else (guess who?). Those guys are just unbelievable athletes.
“But then you get a smaller receiver like Antonio Brown and what he’s doing on the football field. He’s just making plays. You can tell he’s playing with a lot of confidence. But those guys (Johnson and Fitzgerald), they’ve done it year after year.”