The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Start with Rice No. 1, Moss No. 2 in best WR debate

By Mike Sando,

Jerry Rice caught passes from two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. He played for the most influential offensive coach of his era, surrounded by a roster flush with talent. The most prolific receiver in NFL history also flourished after the league changed rules to favor the passing game, fueling statistical inflation on a scale previously unseen. Rice had a lot going for him, in other words, but not enough to dissuade seven expert panelists from naming him the greatest receiver in NFL history. Singling out Rice was the easy part.

"Jerry Rice, he's so obvious, it scares me," said panelist Boyd Dowler, a longtime scout and coach who finished his playing career in 1971 with 474 receptions, five championships and an eventual spot in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Top 10 WRs of All TimeRaymond Berry, Boyd Dowler, Mike Holmgren, Ken Houston, Warren Moon, Keyshawn Johnson and Ted Thompson helped evaluate the best wide receivers in NFL history. weighed their contributions, balancing rankings with anecdotal evidence, to create the following list. (Click here for ZOOM Gallery.)Unanimity turned to ambiguity when asked Dowler and fellow panelists Raymond Berry, Mike Holmgren, Warren Moon, Ken Houston, Ted Thompson and Keyshawn Johnson to rank the greatest receivers after Rice. Panelists placed 13 players in the second through fifth overall slots. They ranked seven others between sixth and 10th. That left 20 all-time greats fighting for nine spots, and much work to be done.

"You reach a certain point and it's hard to do," said Berry, the NFL's career leader in receptions and receiving yards when he retired from the Baltimore Colts in 1967. "I've seen too many great ones, and it's hard to find a standard." An exhaustive analysis of the panelists' rankings, supplemented by more than six hours of interviews, gave New England's Randy Moss a slight edge over Green Bay legend Don Hutson for the second overall spot. Michael Irvin was fourth, followed by Paul Warfield, Charley Taylor, Steve Largent, Cris Carter, Terrell Owens and Marvin Harrison. (Click here for bios of panelists.) "Moss has the best hands of anyone today," said Thompson, the Packers' general manager. "A lot of guys can catch. He can catch on any platform, as we say in scouting. He can adjust and catch it over the top of somebody's head, catch it falling down -- and it doesn't matter if he is covered." All 10 receivers put up numbers that ranked them among the top producers of their eras. But panelists unanimously discounted raw statistics as a meaningful tool. They explained how changes in the game made the number of receptions less relevant than ever. They placed more value on touchdowns and yards per reception. They also singled out toughness as a leading characteristic of the great ones. "They've got to have big-play ability," said Moon, one of three panelists enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with Berry and Houston. "They have to have toughness. They have to be able to get off man-for-man, bump-and-run at the line of scrimmage. And they have to be able to make the big play at the right time."

A look at the top ten:


Career: Played for 49ers, Raiders and Seahawks from 1985-2004. Holds NFL records for receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), TD receptions (197), TDs (207). Quick quote: "Jerry had a tremendous combination of speed, size, toughness, smarts." -- Holmgren, Rice's offensive coordinator in San Francisco


Career: Set NFL record with 23 TD catches last season with Patriots.Quick quote: "Randy Moss catches the ball so well almost without looking at it sometimes. He is scary physically." -- Boyd Dowler, retired scout and former NFL receiver.


Career: Played for Packers from 1935-45. Held 18 NFL records when he retired. Elected to Hall of Fame in 1963.Quick quote: "Lean and swift, and boy, he could catch the heck out of it." -- Hall of Famer Berry, who studied films of Hutson in detail.


Career: Played for Cowboys from 1988-99. Had 750 career receptions for 11,904 yards. Elected to Hall of Fame in 2007.Quick quote: "People might not like some of the other things, but when he was on those stripes, he was as competitive as there is." -- Hall of Fame QB Moon


Career: Played for Browns, Dolphins from 1964-77. Averaged 20.1 yards per catch. Elected to Hall of Fame in 1983.Quick quote: "Warfield was a lot like Charlie Joiner. Every step meant something to those guys. Warfield got into his route and it was like somebody falling off the face of the earth. That's how quick he could be into it." -- Hall of Fame safety Houston


Career: Played for Redskins 1964-77. All-time leading receiver with 649 catches for 9,110 yards when he retired. Elected to Hall of Fame in 1984.Quick quote: "Those types of athletes who played more than one position --- Charley Taylor -- are worth the price of admission just to see them line up. That is an athlete right there, a subject in itself." -- Berry


Career: Played for Seahawks from 1976-89. Had 819 catches, 13,089 yards, 100 TDs. Elected to Hall of Fame in 1995.Quick quote: "He was as crafty as anybody I could recall. He wasn't a big guy, but he knew exactly how to lean on people and his hands were unbelievable." -- Packers GM Ted Thompson


Career: Played for Eagles, Vikings, Dolphins from 1987-2002. Had 13,899 yards receiving, 130 TD receptions.Quick quote: "I've never been around a guy as competitive as he is. He is so confident. He was a hard worker, which I enjoyed because whatever I got in practice, I knew that's I was going to get in the game." -- Moon


Career: Has 129 TD receptions in career with 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys. Quick quote: "My biggest knock on him is he drops too many balls, but he makes a lot of big plays and he's as good as there is after the catch and he makes difficult catches." -- Moon

Career: Has spent entire 12-yard career with Colts. Set NFL record with 143 receptions in 2002. Quick quote: "Of all the things that impresses me, it's how he goes about his job, how he goes about his business. He's not a fanfare guy. He's just a football player." -- Holmgren

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