San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss may have put his foot in his mouth this week when he said he was the greatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL.
"I don't really live on numbers. I really live on impact and what you're able to do out on that field, so I really do think I'm the greatest receiver ever to play this game," Moss said on Tuesday. "Back when Jerry was playing -- and no disrespect to Jerry Rice, because he's arguably the greatest. But for me to go out and revolutionize the game from a single safety to a 'Cover 2' to dropping four guys deep and still be able to make a difference, I really feel in my heart and my mind that I am the greatest receiver to ever play the game."
His comments drew an immediate response from Jerry Rice, who is now an ESPN analyst.
"I impacted the game by winning Super Bowls," Rice said. "Randy is still trying and I wish him the best, but I was very surprised that he said he's the best receiver to ever play the game. I leave that up to my fans to make that statement."
Jerry Rice's career numbers dwarf Moss'
In 20 NFL seasons Rice had 1,549 career receptions, 22,895 receiving yards, 197 career touchdowns, went to 13 Pro Bowls, made first team All Pro 10 times, won 3 Super Bowl rings (1 Super Bowl MVP), and made the Hall of Fame.
In 14 seasons Moss has 982 career receptions, 15,292 receiving yards, 156 career touchdown catches, went to 7 Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro 5 times. He doesn't have any Super Bowl rings.
Moss said he didn't want to debate Rice, but stood by his comments.
"What I said is what I felt, and I don't want to get into a shouting match with Jerry Rice or anybody," Moss said Wednesday during the 49ers' media access for Super Bowl XLVII. "It's my personal opinion. (Rice) has the numbers but I don't believe in numbers. In today's society, it's how we measure athletes or teams -- on rings. "I don't base it that way. I changed the game. But I'm not trying to make it all about me."
Who is the greatest WR of all time?
Jerry Rice responds to Randy Moss' comments