, the NFL’s all-time leading receiver, will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 7. He is the 21st modern-era wide receiver to earn a bronze bust in Canton.
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All-time leading receiver with 22,895 receiving yards. His total is more than 7,500 yards ahead of Isaac Bruce who ranks second.
Caught his first career regular season pass against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 8, 1985. His first reception was a 17-yard completion from Matt Cavanaugh. Joe Montana had started the game but missed the third offensive series after being hurt while scrambling for an eight-yard gain. Cavanaugh entered the contest and completed just one of five passes. His one completion was to the rookie Rice who finished the game with four catches for 67 yards.
Rice's longest reception, a 96-yard touchdown completion, came in 1988 on Nov. 27 against the San Diego Chargers. Rice finished the game with a season-high 171 yards receiving. He finished the '88 season with the highest yards per reception average of his career (20.4).
In 2004, Rice became just the fourth player since 1933 to appear in 17 regular season games. He saw action in six games with the Oakland Raiders and after a trade to the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 19 appeared in 11 games for the Seahawks.
Rice's teams went to the playoffs 15 times during his 20 seasons in the NFL. He holds 10 post-season NFL records including most career receptions (151), most career receiving yards (2,245) and most career touchdowns (22).
Caught at least one pass for 274 consecutive games. The streak started in his rookie season in a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 9, 1985. It was snapped in his final season went he went without a catch against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 19, 2004.
Holds the distinction of being the only wide receiver to appear in the top ten of most career touchdowns by a quarterback /wide receiver tandem with two different QBs. He had 55 touchdowns passes with Joe Montana from 1985-1992. He and Steve Young rank second all-time as the duo hooked up for 85 TDs from 1987-1999.
When retired following the 2004 NFL Season, he was firmly perched atop the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Top Twenty Receivers list with 1,549 receptions. The 20th ranked receiver at that time was Rod Smith with 714 catches. The margin of difference between the two players was 837 receptions. That figure alone would have put Rice in 8th place on the all-time list.
"I look at it like this: God gave me something to work with. He meant for me to do something, and I want to do it the best way." -
"Some clubs will help receivers by throwing to them any time they're close to the end zone. We don't do that. Jerry has earned every touchdown he's scored." - Bill Walsh, former 49ers head coach
"You have to just shake your head. It's tough getting a catch in this league, let alone a touchdown. But with him, it's almost like it's academic." - R.C. Owens, former 49ers halfback
"He sets the standard for everyone else." - Joe Montana, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2000
"The thing is, if he weren't so talented, you'd all be calling him a blue-collar guy because he works so hard at it. There aren't enough of these kids of guys, doing great things, showing how to do them. He did this on work." - Steve Young, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2005
"There'll never be another guy like , with all the numbers he put up and the records he set." - Kerry Collins, former NFL QB
"The thing I admire most about Jerry—and that I was glad to see when I came here—is the way he works. Sometimes when a guy is successful, there's a tendency to get complacent. With Jerry, there's no complacency anywhere." - Dave Waymer, former safety of the 49ers
"I had Jerry's posters hanging up all over my wall. It was a little surreal seeing him in here in camp. When you get to know him and realize he's a guy like you are, except he's an exceptional guy." - Nate Jackson, former Broncos tight end
"He worked so hard to run the offense. It was built for guys like him. It was timing. It was artistry. It wasn't just 'Hey go out there and get open.'" - Steve Young, Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2005
"Jerry always told me that he never played the perfect game. In his mind, that's a lofty deal. A lot of people would take a few of his games as perfection." - Ronnie Lott, former defensive back of the 49ers (said of Rice when the receiver retired)
" doesn't rank in the all-time greats. He is the greatest receiver and maybe the greatest football player of all time." - Darren Sharper, safety, New Orleans Saints
"Not many people that own all the records spend that type of commitment and give that type of commitment in the offseason. That's why, in my opinion, he's the greatest player to ever play the game." - Mike Shanahan, Washington Redskins head coach
"There are some guys who are very good and probably Hall of Famers, and some like Jerry where, not only did it look like his shoes fit his feet, but they were so well shined and buffed that you would notice it." - Aeneas Williams, former Arizona Cardinals/St. Louis Rams defensive back
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