The greatest receiver to play the game is in fact a San Francisco 49er, but he’s not an active member of the team. On Tuesday during the media portion of the Super Bowl coverage, Randy Moss was asked about his place in NFL history. To which he responded:
“Now that I’m older, I do think I’m the greatest receiver to ever do it.”
Not only is this false, but also disrespectful to a guy that helped bring many titles to the 49ers, Jerry Rice. Since Moss came in the league in 1998, he’s been one of the more cocky, self touting players in the league. While he has been one of the best, he hasn’t done enough to call himself the greatest ever. Rice has the title of greatest ever, he won three Super Bowl titles with the 49ers, and holds the league records in most of every statistical receiving category. Yes, Rice put up these numbers with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Steve Young and Joe Montana, but he was consistent every year of his career. Rice never really did anything wrong or lashed out in the media. He retired when he had no more left to give and got inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Randy Moss is and was one of the most talented receivers in the league, but his play style and antics really take away from his image as the “best ever.” Moss’s strength was making acrobatic catches on the deep ball, and often making one handed grabs that were astonishing. That was really all he had though. Moss was often labeled as a guy who wouldn’t go across the middle for a ball. Rice built his career by going across the middle and being tough. Moss also disappeared in the later half of his career. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2005, and he admittedly quit on the team in the second year with them. If a receiver is going to be the best ever he can’t quit on his teammates.
Moss parlayed that into a trade to the New England Patriots in 2007 where he lit the world on fire. Moss broke Rice’s record for most receiving touchdowns in a season with 23. He looked like he had reestablished himself as a force in the game, but it only took three seasons for Moss to lose interest in the Patriots. In 2010, Patriots coach Bill Belichick had enough with Moss reportedly, which led to a trade back to the Minnesota Vikings. Once Moss got the Vikings things didn’t go well. He had a few outbursts in the Vikings locker room which painted a negative picture of him, and things got so bad that coach Brad Childress released Moss. From there Moss played the last few games with the Tennessee Titans and then retired. He came back this season with the 49ers for one last ride, but his legacy hardly is that of the greatest ever.
Moss hasn’t put the hard work in that Rice has, and he didn’t seem that much into the game of football until later in his career when it seemed to be too late. At the moment Moss will go down as one of the best to ever do it, but the number one spot is reserved for Rice until someone else takes it. Moss can thank his bad attitude in the end, and hopefully he hasn’t offended too many 49er fans if he plans on playing a year or two more in San Francisco.
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