Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss declared himself the best wide receiver of all time on Tuesday -- even better than 49ers legend Jerry Rice.
Speaking at Super Bowl XLVII's media day, Moss declared himself the best wide receiver of all time -- even better than 49ers legend, Jerry Rice.
To be fair, Moss was directly asked if he believes he's the greatest wide receiver of all time. Moss replied, saying, "Now that I'm older, I do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever do it."
Moss said that he didn't totally emphasize numbers. If he did, then certainly he'd take a back seat to Rice in the greatest wide receiver of all time discussion:
"I don't think numbers stand. Because you can talk about this and this, I think I've had ... this year has been a down year for me statistically. The year before I retired was a down year, and Oakland was a down year. I don't really live on numbers I really live on impact and what you're able to do on that field.
"So I really do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game."
Moss caught just 28 passes on 51 targets for 434 yards and three touchdowns in 2012 -- constituting one of the worst statistical seasons of Moss' career.
Off-the-field issues have marred Moss' public perception, but the fact remains that Moss has put together one of the most accomplished careers in NFL history. Moss' best season famously came in 2007, when he broke Rice's 20-year old single-season touchdown reception record. In 2007, Moss caught 98 passes from Tom Brady, for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Moss' career raced off to a fast start in 1998, when he caught 17 touchdown passes as a rookie. So far in his career, Moss has 982 receptions, and has accumulated 15,292 yards while hauling in 156 touchdowns, with the majority of Moss' damage being done with the Minnesota Vikings.
In his 21-year career, Rice accumulated 1,549 receptions for 22,895 yards and 197 touchdowns. Barring a late-career resurgence, Moss won't touch Rice's numbers.
Though Moss doesn't believe statistics tell the story, they're certainly what can be tangibly relied on. Perhaps if Moss tried harder in Oakland, or didn't essentially force his way out of New England in 2010 with a Hall of Fame quarterback, the story would be different.
It's no surprise that Moss believes he's the best of all time, and he can certainly make the case that he was more physically gifted than Rice was. Still, the discussion for best wide receiver of all time ultimately begins and ends with Rice -- and there's certainly no shame in being the second-best receiver of all time, which is exactly what Moss is.