Next Saturday, the NFL will be inducting seven new members to its Hall of Fame. Former 49ers great Jerry Rice, will be one of the members of the class of 2010. The others are, Russ Grim, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, John Randle, and Emmitt Smith. If you ask me, I believe Rice is the most accomplished of the group.
Jerry Rice is the record-holder in the NFL for the following: Receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, total yards, and total touchdowns.
I have actually come across some who say that Rice was opportunistic. They foolishly argue that any receiver with Joe Montana and Steve Young at the helm would put up the numbers Rice did. They say the West Coast Offense worked to his favour. While there arguments may be true, that alone did not get him to his greatness.
Rice, who grew up in Mississippi did not garner any scholarship offers from any of the Division I-A schools when he was coming out of high school. That led to Rice attending nearby Mississippi Valley State University.
Luckily, the 49ers were able to make a deal with the New England Patriots and draft him 16th overall in the 1985 NFL Draft. There are reports which presume that the Dallas Cowboys would have been ready to pick him up at 17th overall. Nonetheless, Rice ended up in the Bay Area and would go on to be part of the most exciting teams in the NFL.
I can’t figure out how anybody will ever surpass any of Rice’s records. Yes, today, teams are focusing more on passing and less emphasis is spent on the running game, but defenses have changed as well. From what I understand, defenses are more versatile in today’s game and spent an enormous amount of time on shutting down the quarterback in all aspects of the game. With that said, will any receiver ever break or even come extremely near Rice’s NFL records mentioned above?