by Brad Biggs
January 31, 02013
Randy Moss started the discussion this week about the greatest wide receiver of all-time and the man many consider to be the G.O.A.T. said the league’s best wide receiver right now is only going to get better.
Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who holds more records for wide receivers than anyone, said that Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions might one day be considered among the finest to ever play the position.
“Without a doubt, he’s the best receiver in the league right now,” Rice said, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I think this guy’s going to be around a long time. He has a good work ethic, a good head on his shoulders and he’s going to try to bring it every year. So I expect him to be around a long time.”
Johnson eclipsed Rice’s record for yards in a single season this past year with 1,964, a mark Rice had held since 1995 when he had 1,848 playing for the San Francisco 49ers. Rice said it was impressive that Johnson put up huge numbers during a miserable 4-12 season but seemed to detract from it some because the Lions were not winning.
“When you are not having a winning season, teams are going to play you differently,” Rice said. “But talent-wise, one of the best receivers that I have seen in a long time that’s big, fast, that can out-jump you, that’s not afraid to go across the middle. So all the tools are there, it’s just now surrounding this guy with players that’s going to take some pressure off him.”
Rice likes the worth ethic that Johnson brings to his craft.
“A lot of guys are gifted, but they don’t want to sacrifice and put the time in, and he’s willing to do that,” Rice said. “And at the same time, it doesn’t go to his head, so that’s why I’m saying he’s only going to get better with that sort of attitude.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune