Jerry Rice: Football Almost Didn't Happen

Rice discussed his new book, named the best wide receiver in football, and identified the quarterback he would most want to play for

Taz and the Moose
November 05, 2019 - 9:15 am
Julio Jones Falcons

USA Today Images


From Joe Montana to Steve Young, Jerry Rice played with some of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Then again, Montana and Young had the good fortune of throwing to the best wide receiver the game has ever seen.

Indeed, Rice is the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (1,549), yards (22,895) and receiving touchdowns (197) – and he leads each category by a mile.

Asked to name the best wide receiver in the game today, Rice didn’t hesitate.

“I’m always going to go with Julio Jones,” Rice said on Taz & The Moose. “He brings everything to the game. He’s got the speed, he’s got the size, he’s got the jumping ability, he can stretch the field and run by defenders and all that. He’s not on a very good team right now, but I still think Julio Jones is the best receiver in the game right now.”

Rice, 57, won three Super Bowls with the 49ers and was MVP of Super Bowl XXIII. He was asked to name the quarterback he would most want to play for today.

Rice didn’t hesitate on that one, either.

“It would be Tom Brady,” he said. “Tom is not going to hold on to the ball. Tom is going to put the ball in a position where you can catch the ball and do something with it. You look at Aaron Rodgers, a Drew Brees, a Russell Wilson – those types of quarterbacks. These guys are going to make good, smart decisions on the field and they’re going to give you opportunities.”

Rice also discussed his new book, “America’s Game: The NFL at 100,” which chronicles – and celebrates – the history of the game.

“I wanted to know more history about the game that I played and the game that I loved,” Rice said. “I was curious about the people that made football what it is today – from the old days, way back, like Lombardi. What type of coach was he? I played for the greatest quarterback ever in Joe Montana. Just the history about the game of football, people don’t realize that football almost didn’t happen because of the Great Depression, World War II and all of those things. The NFL had to survive, and they did.”