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Jerry Rice - GOAT?

Old 06-01-05, 02:50 PM
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Jerry Rice - GOAT?

OK, Peter King has an interesting column today at SI.com where he talks about Jerry Rice as a candidate for Greatest of All Time. Not just as a wide-receiver... but among all positions, all time.

My first reaction was to just laugh it off, but it did get me thinking... where does Jerry Rice place on the GOAT list? King lists him 3rd, after Don Hutson and Otto Graham. I'd have to add Jim Brown to that list, and maybe Joe Montana. I think Barry Sanders was the greatest player I ever saw, so I might have to put him before Rice as well... and that doesn't even bring us to some of the great defensive players: Karras, Olsen, Mean Joe Greene, Lawrence Taylor...

I think Jerry Rice was a great wide receiver, maybe even the greatest wide receiver the game has ever known. But how much of his success was due to playing with Montana and Young? How much of it was the system? How much can be attributed to his longevity?

Or am I missing something here?
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Old 06-01-05, 02:55 PM
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I hope he is the greatest of all time. I have a Jerry Rice rookie card I would like to sell soon.
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Old 06-01-05, 02:57 PM
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Cris Carter was the greatest WR of all-time IMO.
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Old 06-01-05, 02:57 PM
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I have no problem arguing him as GOAT.

He has so may records that will never be touched and most won't even be approached.

I don't think you can say that about any other player and any other position.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:04 PM
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NCMojo

How much can be attributed to his longevity?
I'd say that's part of the GOAT equation. If you played longer at a high level, that's "great".

One question to ask yourself: if Rice is the greatest WR of all time, is the difference between him and #2 greater than the difference between #1 and #2 at any other position in history? If the answer is "yes", he has to be in the discussion.

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Old 06-01-05, 03:06 PM
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No player has dominated his position like Rice has. Is there a recieving record that he doesn't own? He is the GOAT in my book.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:21 PM
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I think he certainly belongs in the discussion. I still think Jim Brown is the GOAT however.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:29 PM
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I have absolutely no problem with someone naming Rice as the GOAT. He is certainly the greatest player I've ever seen play since I started watching the NFL in the late 70's. The number of records he holds is actually an NFL record itself.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:31 PM
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As I said, I have no issue with annointing Rice as the greatest WR of all time. Well, OK, Peter King makes a good argument for Hutson... and I think Lynn Swann and Steve Largent were fairly good... but OK, we'll say Rice is the greatest at his position ever.

But the greatest football player? I don't know that I ever considered Rice as a dominant player the way that some of the others were... I mean, I don't think he caused coaches to devise game plans just to stop him, the way that Jim Brown and Barry Sanders did. Or again, what about a player like Lawrence Taylor, who caused opposing teams absolute fits?

I don't think it's legitimate to base the whole "greatest ever" debate on how far so-and-so was ahead of the field at their position. By that argument, Shannon Sharpe suddenly catapults into the GOAT discussion along with Morton Anderson and Sammy Baugh.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
But the greatest football player? I don't know that I ever considered Rice as a dominant player the way that some of the others were... I mean, I don't think he caused coaches to devise game plans just to stop him, the way that Jim Brown and Barry Sanders did. Or again, what about a player like Lawrence Taylor, who caused opposing teams absolute fits?

I don't know how much football you watched from the mid-80s to mid-90s, but defenses certainly game planned to stop Rice - with frequent double-teams.

I still think his most amazing stat is 22 rec TD in 1987. In a 12-game (strike-shortened) season.

Last edited by Red Dog; 06-01-05 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 06-01-05, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I don't know how much football you watched from the mid-80s to mid-90s, but defenses certainly game planned to stop Rice - with frequent double-teams.
Every star wide receiver gets double-teamed. Torry Holt, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison... heck, I think Peerless Price still occasionally draws a double-team or two...
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Old 06-01-05, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Every star wide receiver gets double-teamed. Torry Holt, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison... heck, I think Peerless Price still occasionally draws a double-team or two...

That's true and nobody was more successful in beating double-teams than Jerry Rice.

The point remains - defenses specifically tried to devise ways to stop him and almost always failed.

I went back and looked at Rice's core 10 years: 1986-95. Amazing, particularly when you consider most have a core period of 5-6 years.

Seasons among the league's top 10:

Receptions: 1986-2, 1987-4, 1989-5, 1990-1, 1991-7, 1992-4, 1993-2, 1994-2, 1995-2t, 1996-1, 1998-7t, 2002-9

Receiving yards: 1986-1, 1987-2, 1988-2, 1989-1, 1990-1, 1991-3, 1992-3, 1993-1, 1994-1, 1995-1, 1996-4, 1998-7

Receiving TDs: 1986-1, 1987-1, 1988-5t, 1989-1, 1990-1, 1991-1, 1992-3t, 1993-1t, 1994-2, 1995-3, 1998-10t, 2001-5t

Yards from scrimmage: 1986-6, 1987-9, 1988-8, 1989-8, 1990-4, 1993-4, 1994-6, 1995-3

Rush/Receive TDs: 1986-2, 1987-1, 1989-2, 1990-4t, 1991-2, 1992-6t, 1993-1, 1994-3, 1995-4t

Last edited by Red Dog; 06-01-05 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 06-01-05, 04:13 PM
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No problem w/ calling him The Greatest at all.
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Old 06-01-05, 04:14 PM
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Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by "GOAT"? Greatest Of All Time? I'ven't heard that expression before.

I definately believe he's the greatest receiver of all time, but definately Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Bart Starr, Bradshaw, others could be considered the GOAT. Heck, I'd even give Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, and Dick Butcase (sp?) a tease at the GOAT.
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Old 06-01-05, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bose Pro
Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by "GOAT"? Greatest Of All Time? I'ven't heard that expression before.
A book on Muhammed Ali came out recently called G.O.A.T. -- I think that may have made the term somewhat fashionable.

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Old 06-01-05, 04:32 PM
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That acronym is so weird... because it looks like something totally different from what it really means. Ah well...

Rice is definitely the greatest reciever of all time, and deserves GOAT consideration... but Football is such a team oriented sport, with everyone playing a different role, that it's hard to compare between positions. After all, Rice can't affect the game without a decent QB to get him the ball. The QB can't function without a decent receiver corps and a front line (and a running game). A RB can't function without people blocking for him. Even though individuals can play havoc on defense, their teammates need to be good enough to ensure they're not triple teamed on every down. This is unlike almost every other major sport.
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Old 06-01-05, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
Rice is definitely the greatest reciever of all time, and deserves GOAT consideration... but Football is such a team oriented sport, with everyone playing a different role, that it's hard to compare between positions. After all, Rice can't affect the game without a decent QB to get him the ball. The QB can't function without a decent receiver corps and a front line (and a running game). A RB can't function without people blocking for him. Even though individuals can play havoc on defense, their teammates need to be good enough to ensure they're not triple teamed on every down. This is unlike almost every other major sport.
Nicely put...
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Old 06-01-05, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I think he certainly belongs in the discussion. I still think Jim Brown is the GOAT however.




Yep.
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Old 06-01-05, 05:47 PM
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John Elway is the GOAT IMO.
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Old 06-01-05, 05:52 PM
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John Elway is not the GOAT! He's a horse! Haven't you seen pictures?
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Old 06-01-05, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
How much can be attributed to his longevity?
I think he set most of his significant records a long time ago
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Old 06-01-05, 10:24 PM
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hard to argue that he is by far the greatest receiver of all time
easy to make an arguement for greatest player of all time.. but dont think i could put him that high.. definitly top 10.. probably top 5..
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Old 06-01-05, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxflier
Cris Carter was the greatest WR of all-time IMO.
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Old 06-01-05, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by twikoff


Well, when you factor in his collegiate career as well...


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Old 06-01-05, 11:49 PM
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I'm glad you find that amusing,although i don't see what's so funny about it.
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