Does Jerry Rice really deserve to get his number retired?

Sure, Rice is arguably the greatest blocker from the wide receiver position in NFL history. He also has caught a decent number of passes and started in three Super Bowls, but the 49ers are a pretty glorious franchise with a lot of Hall of Famers, and they should not take retiring numbers lightly. BQ: In all... show more Sure, Rice is arguably the greatest blocker from the wide receiver position in NFL history. He also has caught a decent number of passes and started in three Super Bowls, but the 49ers are a pretty glorious franchise with a lot of Hall of Famers, and they should not take retiring numbers lightly.

BQ: In all honesty, why doesn't Jerry Rice get more credit for his blocking? He always tried hard, but after he reached his 30s and early 40s, Rice had to have been the best blocking receiver in the league. I love to watch and review the "little things" carefully. With the 49ers and Raiders, almost every big run took place behind Rice. In 2002, for example, I'm certain Charlie Garner would NOT have made the Pro Bowl if he didn't gain so many easy yards because of the space Rice cleared in the secondary after Garner got past the front seven. Same thing with Garrison Hearst in 1998.

Rice ROUTINELY crack blocked DEFENSIVE ENDS on sweeps. He often took a cornerback and a safety out of a play by himself because he was so smart about when and how to release a block and take on another.

With the 49ers, Rice's opposite, Terrell Owens, got a few of the big highlight-type blocks, but he missed many more blocks. With the Raiders, Tim Brown was a complete non-factor in the run game. Rice rarely knocked a guy on his rear end, but he made his blocks just about every single time.

Honestly, I would love to see what Rice's "all-purpose" yards would be if they included yards gained by a teammate directly because of his blocks. (If they can come up with some fair criteria for that, of course.) And I would love to see Rice's new "all-purpose" yards compared to that of other players.
Update: Damn the reading comprehension in America has reached an all-time low. Goodness, fellas. If you even read one paragraph of the BQ, you should be able to clearly tell that the original question was written facetiously. This question is about why Rice doesn't get more credit for how great a blocker he was.
8 answers 8