Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice played 21 years in the NFL and caught 1,549 regular season passes for 22,895. In other words, he should know a thing or two about wide receivers.
In a sit down with Clark Judge for the Talk of Fame Network, Rice named Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown as the best in the game right now.
“He’s killing it right now,” Rice told Judge. “I had the opportunity to talk to this guy, and he tried to get in my head. He wanted to know my workout regimen and how did I sustain for so many years. I just told him it was all about work ethic and never getting complacent and never getting to a point where you feel like you can relax now.
“And you lead by example. If you’re a good leader, other receivers are going to follow. And you see some of those young guys doing that now.”
Brown currently leads the NFL in catches (71), yards (996) and targets (103) and has even been compared to Rice in the past. As far as his work ethic goes, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talked about it Wednesday.
“It starts from the second he steps on the field, really, and that’s the practice field. You see him busting his butt,” said Roethlisberger. “How many number-one receivers in the NFL are catching punts in practice and running it all way back for a touchdown in practice? Then Dri (Archer) steps up and he tells him to get out because he wants another one. You just don’t see that (often). His work ethic and demeanor and attitude are just unbelievable.”
In 1995, Rice caught a career-high 122 passes. Brown is on pace to catch 126 this season. If he manages to pull off that feat, I’m sure Rice won’t be surprised one bit.
He’s just making plays,” said Rice. “You can tell he’s playing with a lot of confidence.”