SAN FRANCISCO — Odell Beckham Jr. and Jerry Rice had communicated back and forth over the past few years, through text and social media, but it wasn’t until they both got to Hawaii last week that the two great receivers had a chance to spend any time together. In fact, Beckham was the captain of “Team Rice” at the Pro Bowl.
So what did Rice learn about Beckham?
“I think he’s a hard worker and he wants to get better,” the Hall of Famer told Newsday from Radio Row on Wednesday. “He’s going to learn from his mistakes and I think he’s one of those guys who are going to impact the game. I think he already has.”
That “mistake” Rice referenced came in Week 15 against the Panthers when Beckham appeared to lose control on the field, was flagged three times for personal fouls, and was ultimately suspended one game by the NFL for a series of illegal hits that included a helmet-to-helmet clash with Carolina cornerback Josh Norman.
Interestingly, it was just days before that infamous game that Panthers coach Ron Rivera compared Beckham to Rice.
Rice is considered the greatest wide receiver of all time, which is a title to which Beckham has said he aspires. He’s only been in the league two years, so it’s premature to give the most dynamic playmaker in the NFL that title right now, but does the GOAT think Beckham could one day overtake him as the GOAT?
“I think you have to have a supporting cast, that’s the most important thing,” Rice said. “If he continues and his attitude stays the same, I think he’s going to do some great things, man.”