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Tim Benz: Jerry Rice makes insane comments about Steelers’ Antonio Brown |
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Tim Benz: Jerry Rice makes insane comments about Steelers’ Antonio Brown

Tim Benz
| Thursday, January 10, 2019 6:18 a.m

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown may have a $20,000 G.O.A.T ring. But when it comes to NFL wide receivers, San Francisco legend Jerry Rice is still the G.O.A.T — Greatest Of All Time.

Rice is the all-time leader in receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns.

He isn’t the G.O.A.T when it comes to being a sports talk radio guest, though.

Rice appeared on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco this week and made some remarkably quizzical comments.

“If you can get a guy like that, a guy that can really add to the offense of the San Francisco 49ers, where you can just let those guys play, I think you have to go for it,” Rice said.

OK. That’s understandable.

Then Rice went off the deep end.

When asked about the notion of the 49ers trying to acquire Brown, Rice blew off any belief that the disgruntled star would be a clubhouse problem, simply pinning his insubordination on his unhappiness with Mike Tomlin’s relationship with Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.

“He wants to get out,” Rice said of Brown. “But this guy, he is a team player.”

Is he? Since when?

What part about skipping meetings and practices and refusing MRI’s makes him a team player? Do team players go AWOL for a full week, then show up for games expecting to play?

Do team players stomp around in anger on the sideline, stream live video from the locker room, show up their quarterbacks, sulk when they don’t get a lot of touches even when their team wins and absorb celebration penalties despite instructions not to do so?

That’s not being a team player. People think A.B. is a team player because he works hard. He does work hard. But working hard doesn’t counter selfishness.

As silly as that assessment may be, what Rice said next was even crazier.

“People have to realize, too, (tight end) George Kittle is going to get doubled. All of a sudden, defensive coordinators, they are going to want to take him out of the ball game,” Rice continued. “And you need someone on the other side that’s going to complement him where he can take that double-coverage off George Kittle, and they work together, and they become a tandem.”

I’m sorry, did Rice say that Brown would “complement” Kittle? Not the other way around?

Antonio Brown, a “complement” to a tight end?

Imagine someone telling Brown that.

Imagine someone telling Rice he was a “complement” to Brent Jones. Or a “tandem” with him. It is barely accurate to say Rice was a tandem with John Taylor.

It’d be Brown — with everyone else as a “complement” to him.

And, dear Lord, can you imagine how far into the ear of Jimmy Garoppolo Brown would be? He was starting to drive Roethlisberger nuts by the end of last year, if not before.

Roethlisberger is 36 and has seen it all. He was established as a two-time Super Bowl champion before Brown ever got there.

Garoppolo is a 27-year-old. And kind of “aw shucks,” at that. Not the alpha personality Roethlisberger is.

Brown would eat Garoppolo alive and could ruin him. Geez! Even Roethlisberger occasionally has succumbed to the pressure to placate Brown by squeezing him the ball when he should be looking to make other throws. How much heat do you think he’d give to Jimmy G?

If Rice wants to argue that Brown’s talent is too intriguing to bypass, I understand.

What I don’t understand is the rationale he is using to make his case.

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