Randy Moss Vs Jerry Rice-“In between the lines”
Ok. First, I grew up the hugest Rice fan in the world, & in the bay. I literally watched every game Rice ever played. I am an X star receiver in High School. I also played some college ball as well. I currently coach WR's at a High School. I’m saying I know my stuff, really well. I lived for football and am still working in what I love, receivers. Being this way, when I first saw Moss, I saw something special, therefore, I followed his entire career, much like Rice’s. I was the hugest Rice fan in the world, I even stayed the night at the Marriot hotel the night before a few home games as kid with my family just to see Rice.(& other players). Ok, you get it, I bleed Red & Gold.
I know this may be hard for some people to really look at objectively. I mean, most people here it seems dislike Moss. Which mainly I believe is because Moss does threaten Rice’s “status”. And he threatens your individual peace of going to the grave, saying, “the 49ers and Rice are the best.” It’s time to step out of the past. I can put aside the fact I am a crazy 49er/Rice fan & all the fun we had in the 80's, well, & the 90's, for the sake of pure argument.
So, putting all that aside and everything else, if you just look at the "in between the lines skill", the argument can be made that Randy Moss is the best ever. I know it hurts. But I am posting this because of another forum topic, where all I read from 49er fans was that Moss won't catch or come close Rice's TD record and that Moss isn't even close to as good as Rice. That is just plain ridiculous! Most of the 49er/Rice fans comments to why Rice is better than Moss was, Rice was the hardest worker, I don't like Moss, Moss isn't as consistent as Rice, Moss may be more talented, but not better. All of the above are BS reasons to say why Rice is better than Moss. Seems like lame comments by people hanging on to the "glory years" a little too much. The lack of knowledge about the real Randy Moss, & what he has done in college and the pro's is very evident when I read these comments.
(Throwing in high school stuff here I think you should know. Then, the topic of the debate begins. Moss broke state H.S.records in the 100m and 200m dashes(still state records). One of the track coach’s of Olympic team when he scouted Moss said he was the greatest runner he’s ever seen, & that includes Michael Johnson & Carl Lewis. (At Marshall University, Moss won Southern Conf. Championship in the 200m and 55m dash, after just 3 days of practice)! Moss got 2 state titles in football. And he was a super great basketball player receiving the W. Virginia player of the year award. He was also drafted in baseball, which many scouts thought was his best sport (centerfield). Some scouts were saying he was the best fielder in centerfield ever, and he was only in H.S.(Imagine Moss running down baseballs out there!) According to Lou Holtz and Bobby Bowden, he's the greatest high school athlete ever, period. Some even went as far to say he was already better than Rice when he was a senior in H.S., running a legit 4.2 already. Bobby Bowden said his measuring stick for athletes is Deion Sanders, as far as when people ask him questions about players. Bowden said, “Moss is a bigger Deion Sanders.” That’s freaking awesome if you think about it. Only other player he's ever mentioned up there with Deion since. Moss ran a 4.25, just under Deion’s 4.23 at Florida State, back then it was the second fastest ever in Florida state history. Quick note on 40 times: Dennis Green said live on national T.V. after beating the Saints in which Moss blazed past everyone on a quick hitch screen pass for a 70+ yard TD, “that is what a 4.18 looks like in a game,” said, Green. Me and my friends watched that live & were amazed by that comment. And, Deion Sanders said live on NFL network, he knows of Moss running a 4.19 in Minnesota. Now that’s almost Bo Jackson speed right there. I believe Bo Jackson, Randy Moss and Deion Sanders are the best 3 athletes ever.)
RANDY MOSS VS JERRY RICE
This receiver debate even goes back to their college football days, for those of you that don’t know. Look it up, Randy Moss broke 25 NCAA records. Yes, 25! Moss broke Rice's college records too. This Moss and Rice debate is nothing new. Nobody ever has ever caught more regular season touchdown passes than any freshman in NCAA history. Sound familiar? He did that in the NFL as well, when he broke the rookie TD record. That says a lot about Moss’s greatness right there. Moss broke nearly every record in the receiving book, the most noteworthy being Jerry Rice's (NCAA-D-I-AA) consecutive touchdown reception mark, & single season TD total with 29 TD's over Rice's 27 TD's. Did you do your research? Rice set those marks as a Senior! Moss as a Freshman! Moss's 2nd season at Marshall, 1997(D-1), Moss grabbed a NCAA record 25 touchdown receptions. (Moss’s first year in college was NCAA-D-I-AA). Moss had arguably one of the greatest season or 2 year career by any college player, ever. In college, he even got an award named after him. NCAA D-1 gives the Randy Moss Award every year to the top returner. I know, this isn’t a WR stat, but he was so good they had to name something after him. In college, Moss broke Rice records at a younger age, and now Moss is in line to do the same in the pros’. Moss is simply a better athlete and receiver.
I know Jerry Rice is my idol, but for me, I'm comfortable with Randy Moss being mentioned in the same conversation as Jerry Rice. Moss is awesome. The media paints the worse picture of this guy. Nowadays, when a player demands the ball and pouts on the sideline, “he’s a prima-donna or bad sport.” When Rice demanded the ball or showed emotion when he wasn’t involved, they said, “wow, what a competitor!” The 80’s media was way different than the crazy media we have nowadays. Rice started that give me the ball stuff if you remember.
Moss can run routes. He does work hard. Bellichick says he’s the smartest football player he’s ever had on offense and the hardest working player. He is a team player. He can block. He is faster than Rice, and he has just as much juke, and separation as Rice. His hands just may be better than Rice’s. He can jump higher than Rice, freakish hops including a 42”-44” vertical. When people say Moss only runs bombs and jumps over people. It's ignorance, hate and Sportscenter highlights all you see of him. How can you only run go routes and catch over 100 balls? Or the 98 catches he got in 2008? It’s just crazy talk. You got to understand, he draws so much attention. He does for you on offense, what Deion did for you on defense. His route is part of an entire scheme. Other receivers run just as much go routes. A go route is in almost every offensive pass play on every team. Rice saw double and rare triple coverage’s, but nothing like Moss. No one in history of the game saw coverage’s he faces. Press man with safety directly behind corner, and a second safety rolling over. Rice was on linebackers a lot. Remember that the west coast offense Rice was on was new and we’ve all seen Rice beat linebackers and ended up 1on1 with a safety a lot. Moss is the most dangerous weapon ever and most feared. Rice even said live on T.V. he believes Moss is the best player over 40 yards ever. I mean, Jerry Rice said that. When you say, all he does is run straight down the field and catch touchdowns, I honestly laugh. Why is it, other super fast guys don’t catch crazy bombs and amazing looking highlights? Seriously, it is under rated about the skill it takes to beat NFL DB’s. As a player, if I could beat the corner, what route do you think I was running? As a coach, if my wide out tells me he can beat a guy deep and we see it too, guess what we call? Like catching touchdowns and scoring points is not a good thing…?? It’s actually the object of the game. Getting “Mossed” is a term in football now used for being burned or beat. Moss is the common denominator in the top 2 scoring offenses of all time. That right there should turn some heads. Moss more recently has become even more savvy and more precise in his routes, which as a Rice enthusiast is great to see. Moss does go over the middle and make possession catches and first downs. He runs some sweet slants & in-routes, & skinny posts. He’s almost undefendable running a stop route, & the out route. His post & set up to post corner is ridiculous to defend. Moss only runs go routes? Moss had 62 first downs this past season. He does some Rice type catches and routes and YAC if you watch all his catches. Rice has a better precise, and more complete route tree, but surprisingly not by as much as you think. Rice had to master that, because he wasn’t blessed with Moss’s speed. Much like Jordan developed a jump shop late because he couldn’t just dunk every time, just as Moss over the years has added more weapons to his game. Moss is always wide open. Just like the Rice days. You say the same thing with Moss, as you always did with Rice, how does he get so wide open? And, how do they keep letting him get open? Moss makes the position look so easy, it’s amazing.
As a Rice fan myself, I can’t see why a lot of you don’t like him. It’s like watching a taller Rice in some ways. Moss’s awareness is just as good as Rice’s and he may be better in traffic. He’s just as graceful, and has just as much juke as Rice had. See that shake Moss has on the goaline running those slants, fades and crossing routes? He’s uncoverable, just like Rice was. 1on1 at the goal line, forget about it. Automatic. Again, the negative media only reported what the Jets corner, Reves, said about Moss. But I’ll tell you what, they play the Jets twice. Watch the tape, Moss juked the crap outta Reves, 1on1 at the goaline on a fake fade, slant for a TD. Look it up on youtube 2009 season highlights.
I HIGHLY encourage you to watch Moss’s ENTIRE 2009 season highlights on youtube. It paints a great picture of what he can do at age 32, and shows a lot of his route running skills and shows how many different routes he runs. It displays how easy he makes the game look. If you think he’s slowing down after watching that video, you’re crazy. He led the NFL in TD’s last year, & admitted he was hurt most of the season. He still looks ridiculous.
Let’s get down to the stats. Their stat comparison is really interesting. Some of the comments were about his age & him slowing, etc, as being the factor of why he won’t catch Rice on stats. I think that’s a wishful assumption. To begin with, when Pats got him, they timed him running a low 4.3. Now that is still faster than 90% of DB’s. This year during a game they put a split-screen clock on Randy Moss running and catching a go route. He ran 33 yards, in 3.0 seconds! Now, is that slow for 32 years old? See that on T.V. this year? Athletes with that all-world type class speed don’t slow down like normal players. Remember, Deion was blazing at 37 years old when he shut down T.O. I watched that game live. And anyone remember Darrell Green (corner/Redskins) playing in his 40’s? Ok, enough said. Moss losing a step or two, results in what? Him running a 4.3? Or a 4.4 one day? Give me a break. Top wide outs in the league run 4.4’s. Being 6’4” and running a sub 4.1-4.2, was just ridiculous. We won’t see another 6’4” receiver with that speed and skill, and awareness, maybe ever.
These stats may shock some of you stat nerds. Take a deep breath. I will now state a few interesting comparative facts of the two and compare the actual stats with comments.
Ok, Randy Moss just finished his 12th season in the NFL. I will compare Jerry Rice’s first 12 seasons with Randy Moss’s. I will also take half of that and compare their first 6 seasons. First, Moss was 32 years old in his 12th season and Rice was 34 years old when he played in his 12th season. That right there should raise an eyebrow or two. Remember, Moss played as a rookie at age 21 and led the NFL in TD’s with 17 (NFL rookie record). Moss’s 12th season, his 13 TD’s led the NFL in TD’s (tied 2 others, go Vernon!). Rice got 8 TD’s in his 12th season. It is interesting to point out Rice never got more than 9 TD’s again after that 12th season. That may turn out to be Rice’s downfall in his safeguard to the holy TD record. In their 12th season, Rice got 1,254 yards, Moss got 1,264 yards. Moss’s yards per catch average in the 12th season was 15.2, Rice’s was 11.6.
In the first 12 seasons, Rice had 154 TD’s in 192 games, and Moss has 148 TD’s in 186 games. Wow, I know, it’s very similar. Rice got 16,377 yards and Moss got 14,465 yards. Rice has edge here but there is more to meets the eye on that stat, I will explain later. And Rice got 1,050 receptions, and Moss got 926 receptions. I always say, no one will ever break Rice’s catch record, cause it’s ridiculous! But you never know how long Moss will play and for what team. I will also talk about this later as well.
In the first 6 seasons, Rice had 79 TD’s, Moss had 77 TD’s. That is almost identical. Rice got 7,866 yards, and Moss got 8,375 yards. Moss has edge, but again, pretty close. It can be argued that Moss had the greatest NFL start ever. He has the NFL record of 6 straight 1,000 yards seasons to start career. No man has done more than 4 I believe. Include his record rookie year and it’s an amazing start.
(Here’s a quick comparison to why Rice and Moss are far above and beyond anyone else in history. For example, Larry Fitzgerald, the current media tells everyone he is the best and the greatest thing since sliced bread. Fitzgerald just finished his first 6 seasons, and he only got 59 TD’s. He has no chance to catch Moss or Rice in TD’s, unless he goes crazy. Although he does have 7,067 yards, which is good, but that’s still 1,300 yards behind Moss’s first 6 season total. But I will be first to say, he’s no Randy Moss or Jerry Rice, but he is a fantastic receiver.)
Rice and Moss both have 9 seasons of 10+ TD’s. It appears Moss has a chance to pass that. Rice has 14 seasons over 1,000 yards (that’s just amazing), and Moss has 10 seasons over 1,000 yards. We’ll see if Moss can get 4 more. Moss has 3 seasons with 17+ TD’s (NFL record). Rice has only 2 seasons of 17+ TD seasons. Moss has chance to reach that again, but we’ll see. The 22 TD’s Rice got was in the strike shortened season. I agree that it was amazing and it is legendary for being 12 games. But I have to stay objective. Rice did it in his second season, a strike year, and never even sniffed that type of season again and he played forever. The year after that season, in 16 games, Rice only got 9 TD’s. Let’s be honest. Yea, Moss got 23 TD’S in more games, but it was just amazing. The highlights are astonishing. One big thing people don’t say about Rice, that I like to point out is, “Rice didn’t get 23 TD’s in a 16 game season!” And we all know he played forever. I find that interesting.
I know I may seem like a traitor, but I bet there are probably even a few Jim Brown fans that will say, Barry Sanders or whoever else, was just better and even more amazing. Rice isn’t losing his greatest of all time title or anything. I’m not trying to make a case that Randy Moss is without a doubt the best, but you can argue it. It’s more like Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson? Willie Mays or Barry Bonds? It seems that Moss took what Rice started in the NFL and took it to another level. Remember, Rice was the main part of the wide-out revolution and passing game we see today. And yes, Rice started the receiver’s position to be more of an art form and “prima-donna” like. Media back then adored Rice, but in reality if you know the truth, he was kind of a jerk. Rumors of womanizing and cheating on his wife were around for years. And I also know Rice wasn’t very pleasant with the kids wanting autographs. Some locker room guys did not like him, contrary to popular belief. If that was today’s media, he would be viewed more like some of the receivers today. Receivers are a weird breed of people. I was one of them. When I grew up, I even hung a towel hanging out of my shorts in pick-up games at the park. You had to look sharp, Jerry started that at that position.
This is for those people that will only talk about Oakland as their argument to why Moss isn’t the best. Well, I got some ammo for you haters as well. For one, Moss’s first year with Oakland he got 1,000+ yards and 8 TD’s. That is not bad, considering he didn’t play the full season due to injury, and played most of the season with injury. Most people don’t know that in his first 4 games with Oakland, he was off to the greatest start in the history of the game in receiving yards. But he got hurt. Many people don’t know that. It was believed early on, that he was going to break Rice’s single season yard mark, but coulda-shoulda’s don’t count.(but imagine if Moss had that single season yard record too) Now for his second year there, well, if you live in the bay area and watched Raiders games that year, their offense was one of the worst offenses, ever, and that’s no stretch. He had a rookie QB(who doesn’t even play now) & they gave up the most sacks in the league. He may have mailed it in, but they were awful. Moss was really hurt that year on top of everything. That season, can be canceled out by the low season stat production years Rice has had, in the big picture of career stats. Rice has had some low season totals too. I will say, if Moss was never in Oakland and on a good team, he would already be ahead of Rice’s TD pace and no one would argue that. And Moss would have had more yardage and more receptions, in-turn would have closed the gap even more in those stat categories as well, if not passing them. But again, woulda-coulda.
Moss is 49 TD’s away from Rice’s receiving TD record. That’s not that unreasonable to obtain. At the least, if Moss gets 9.8 TD’s a season for 5 years, it makes Moss 37 years old when he gets the record. Remember, Rice only got 8 TD’s in his 12th season, & never got more than 9 after that, and he was 2 years older. Moss got 13 TD’s last year and it appears he will get 10+ with Brady next year. If he has a few big seasons, it’s going to be done in 4 years, and he would only be 36 years old! That would be legendary. If he gets hurt or loses some skills, it may take 6 years. Still, with 6 years, Moss will be 38 years old, not 45 years old or whatever Rice was when he retired. If Moss stays with Brady longer than another season, or plays with a good QB the rest of his career, and he plays like he did this past year, Moss has a chance of breaking the record, in less games, less seasons and at a younger age. That paints a pretty clear picture of Moss deserving the argument of the greatest receiver in history. Chris Carter says publicly, Moss is the best receiver ever. Even if Moss doesn’t break the record, he still can be in the discussion. Look at Barry Sanders, he is argued as the best ever and he never won a title and he doesn’t have all the stats.
Most people forget, Moss was one crazy N.Y. Giants catch (famous helmet catch) away from scoring the go-ahead touchdown and being the SuperBowl champ and hero of an undefeated team. Remember when he broke the corner-back’s ankles so bad it made him fall down in the endzone on a slant route in the SuperBowl?
Finally, I would just like to say once more that I am comfortable mentioning one player in the same breath as my idol, the Great Jerry Rice, and his name is, The Super Freak Randy Moss. This doesn’t mean Randy Moss is the “greatest” of all time. It just means that the argument can be made. Moss is without a doubt, more talented than Rice. No one would really argue that. Moss will make his own destiny in the next 5 years. I purposely left out the fact that Rice played with Montana (best QB ever) and Steve Young on a revolutionary offensive system part of a dynasty team that had complimentary players on offense and a great defense, year in & year out. Because we all see what Moss does with Brady, right? Two years with Brady equaled 36 TD’S! I’ll end it right there because you don’t want to get me started on the advantage Rice had on stacked 49er teams and what Moss did the first year he had a stacked team.
I hope you all learned something. I hope you read it all and if you didn’t, do it now!
Let the debate begin…
[ Edited by 49ertrue1 on Mar 25, 2010 at 04:13:23 ]