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Interesting comments from Jerry Rice and Curtis Martin

Posted by Doug on August 8, 2006

Thanks to for the pointer to this story:

The talk-radio caller had a simple question for Jerry Rice on Friday afternoon.

And the legendary former 49ers and Raiders receiver didn't back down.

"I heard in the media somewhere, Jerry, that you said that whoever drafted Alex Smith probably should be fired," the caller to Rice's show on Sirius Satellite Radio said. "Is that an accurate statement?"

Rice replied, "Yes, I made that statement."

The rest of the article describes further comments made by Rice about Smith. He backs off the above statement a little, but not much.

When I read this, my initial reaction was that it was a really classless comment by Rice. Upon further reflection, I still think it seems classless, but I can't put my finger on exactly why I feel that way. If Rice were working for one of the networks, comments of this nature would be part of his job. But he's not. And if he says something like this twenty years from now about the Niners' at-the-time quarterback of the future, it'll just be a standard case of old-fartism and not worth a second thought. But he's not that old.

I guess he's under no obligation to be a cheerleader for his former organization, and I usually appreciate non-cookie-cutter comments from athletes, but this just feels wrong to me. On the other hand, maybe it just means Jerry is a reader of the p-f-r blog.

In less gossipy but more relevant news, Curtis Martin reportedly was so worried about his surgically-repaired knee that he advised the Jets to spend an early pick on a running back in April. If this report is to be believed (and I have a feeling we'll be hearing from Chase on that topic), the news here isn't that Martin may be finished. That's not surprising. It's that Martin apparently thinks as little of Cedric Houston and Derrick Blaylock as Jerry Rice does of Alex Smith.

It's also interesting that the Jets didn't take Martin's advice. Taking offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson over any of the running back options was an obvious choice at #4, but they used a late first round pick on another offensive lineman (center Nick Mangold) when Joseph Addai and LenDale White were still on the board, and when it probably wouldn't have been too tough to move up for DeAngelo Williams or Laurence Maroney.