Tag:Jerry Rice
Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:42 pm
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Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Freddie Solomon died Monday at the age of 59. (Getty)
By Josh Katzowitz

Former 49ers receiver Freddie Solomon, an important contributor to Bill Walsh’s original West Coast offense, died Monday afternoon at the age of 59 after a battle with colon and liver cancer.

"With all that he has done, with all that he has meant to this community, Freddie Solomon is irreplaceable,”  Vin Hoover, Solomon's football teammate at the University of Tampa, told the Tampa Tribune. "He was my friend. He was everyone's friend.”

After his 11-year career with the Dolphins and 49ers from 1975-85, where he caught 371 passes for a 15.8 yards per catch average and 48 touchdowns, he stayed in Tampa and became a positive fixture in the community.

As the Tribune writes:
Solomon worked for two decades in community relations with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, working with youths while blending football fundamentals with life lessons. He rarely spoke about his accomplishments. For some, he dished out tough love. For others, he was a mentor. To all, he was simply "Coach Solomon."

Each winter for a dozen years, Solomon and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo organized a Christmas celebration for foster children. The kids got wrapped toys, dolls or games. Their stunned caregivers, usually struggling to make ends meet, were screaming or sobbing in disbelief after opening gift envelopes filled with hundreds of dollars.

He was constantly stopped in his daily travels by people who remembered his glory days. Solomon obliged with a handshake, a hug, an autograph or a quick photo. Once, a woman asked Solomon to telephone her father, a big fan, as a birthday surprise. Instead, on his way home from work, Solomon dropped by the man's house to personally share some UT memories. They talked and laughed for hours.

"Freddie Solomon was a treasure for us in San Francisco,'' said former 49ers safety Ronnie Lott, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. "What a humanitarian he has been for the city of Tampa."

Interestingly enough, he was just as generous with his teammates. Jerry Rice and Dwight Clark are on record saying how helpful he was to them early in their careers.

"He helped me when he didn't really have to,'' Clark said. "But as I came to understand, that's how he has always been with everybody. He has led an amazing life.”

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Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:37 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 8:39 pm
 

Giants RB hopes 49ers' D 'hits me in the head'

Jacobs welcomes a physical game against San Francisco Sunday. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Earlier this week, after dispensing with the defending Super Bowl champion Packers, Giants safety Antrel Rolle announced that "we can't be beat." He did qualify it with "I might be a little biased," but the point remains: New York is playing its best football of the season.

But the same can be said of the team they'll face Sunday: the San Francisco 49ers, who manhandled the Saints and took Drew Brees and that explosive offense out of their game in the process. By the time it was over, the 49ers had forced five turnovers including two interceptions.

But the Giants, unlike the Saints, aren't a finesse offense. Just the opposite, in fact. They have a wide receiver who looks like a tight end (Hakeem Nicks), a tight end who looks like an offensive lineman (Jake Ballard), and a bruising running back who -- shocker -- likes to steamroll any defender unlucky enough to get in his way.

So it's hardly surprising that Brandon Jacobs welcomes San Francisco's physical style.

"I wish like hell they'd hit me in the head. ...," Jacobs said Thursday according to NFL.com. "A helmet-to-helmet hit. I want one of those. Because that means they're staying high, you know. They're not going to the ground and trying to make tackles at the shoe strings."

Our initial reaction: be careful what you ask for. But Jacobs, all 6-4, 265 pounds of him, is right. If San Francisco defenders are hitting him high, they'll bounce off him like rain on an umbrella. Being physical got the 49ers to this point and that won't change Sunday. Jacobs remains unimpressed.


After dominating the Green Bay Packers last week, the New York Giants will travel to Candlestick Park to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they break down this matchup.

"I really don't care how physical they are," he said. "It's going to be a football game. They're a physical bunch; we're a physical bunch. We're going to be out there playing ball. I'm not afraid of them, I'm not afraid of anybody on their team, I'm not afraid of anybody in their organization. I'm ready to play football."

This is a much easier claim to make now that Mike Singletary is in Minnesota. Interestingly, all five of CBSSports.com's NFL experts are picking the Giants to win.

And lest you think Jacobs is all talk, he did take the high road when asked about Jerry Rice's recent comments calling Jacobs "a little soft."

“I grew up a San Francisco 49ers fan,” Jacobs said according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin. “I loved Jerry Rice. I still love Jerry Rice. If he feels that way, he feels that way; but I bet you he won’t tackle me.”

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:57 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Report: Randy Moss spotted at Saints facility

MossPosted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED 8:35 p.m. ET: Pro Football Talk has thrown some cold water on the report by the New Orleans TV station, writing that if Randy Moss visited the Saints facility, he did so without the knowledge of his agent, Joel Segal.

Since that's extremely unlikely, I wouldn't bet on Moss, if he plays again, taking his next snap with the Saints.

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Randy Moss is known to be interested in returning to play another season with the Patriots. Tom Brady has gone on record as saying he’d welcome Moss back to New England with open arms.

That is unlikely to happen.

But despite his forced retirement -- not to mention Jerry Rice ripping Moss for his work ethic and former Vikings coach Brad Childress describing how Moss metaphorically vomited on Minnesota’s locker room -- it seems that Moss isn’t necessarily done playing pro football yet.

That’s because WWLTV in New Orleans is reporting that Moss has been spotted at the Saints facility and is a player of interest for the club.

Given the fact that Saints receiver Marques Colston will be out the next four weeks while recovering from a broken collarbone, the move seems to make sense. Even if it’s just to see what Moss has left on the practice field.

But remember: Moss destroyed Childress’ reign in Minnesota last year and he was a complete non-factor after going to Tennessee. At this point, other than a bad attitude, Moss simply might not have anything left.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 7:00 am
 

Jerry Rice rips Randy Moss on his work ethic

MossPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With WR Randy Moss announcing his retirement last week, there’s been plenty of talk recently about Moss’ legacy.

On Tuesday morning, Hall of Famer Jerry Rice weighed in on the topic, and he wasn’t completely complimentary.

During an interview on ESPN Radio, and transcribed by Pro Football Talk, Rice talked about Moss’ penchant for taking off plays and how that affects how people will think of him.

“It was hard for me to swallow because I was not as talented and I had to work harder,” Rice said. “To see a guy with that much talent not give it 100 percent, it was almost like a little slap in the face. But Randy was Randy.”

And if Moss HAD worked a little harder?

“He could have been one of the greatest,” Rice said. “I don’t think he wanted to give it 100 percent. You never knew what you were going to get with Randy. Sometimes you’d get the unbelievable guy, the amazing guy. Other times you’d get the guy that took a couple plays off.”

This, I believe, is one reason teams who need WRs this year will think twice about contacting Moss. He proved last year that instead of being effective while being a bad influence in the locker room, he’s now ineffective while being a bad influence in the locker room (does anybody remember the story about Moss yelling in front of the Vikings caterer the opinion that, “I wouldn’t feed this to my dog!”).

Which is why Moss probably will – and should – stay retired. And why HOF voters might remember his antics five years from now.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 3, 2011 11:05 pm
 

Mike Wallace wants 2,000 receiving yards

WallacePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Nobody in the history of the NFL has ever recorded 2,000 receiving yards in a season. Not Jerry Rice, who holds the record with 1,858. Not Terrell Owens. Not Tim Brown, Randy Moss or Marvin Harrison.

But that apparently is not going to stop Steelers WR Mike Wallace from planning on breaking that 2,000-yard mark. Sounds crazy, right?* Wallace understands your concerns. But he still believes in himself that he could accomplish something so monumental.

*That’s because it IS crazy.

"I'm not saying that I'm better than any of those guys, but I feel like I'm Mike and I'm my own person," Wallace said, via the Detroit Free Press. "I don't care what Jerry Rice did. I don't care what Randy Moss did."

For the record, in his first two seasons in the league, Wallace has combined for 2,013 receiving yards. His career yards per catch, at 20.3 yards per reception, is pretty darn impressive, but he’d need to record 100 catches this year with that kind of average in order to follow through on his prediction.

Last year, he had 60. So, let me make a brief prediction: it ain't going to happen.

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Marisa Miller talks Super Bowl, Niners, NFL

By Josh Katzowitz

Marisa Miller is your dream girl. She’s beautiful – a supermodel who’s been a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl and a Victoria’s Secret angel – and she’s funny and sweet, and when she laughs and touches your arm, it makes you want to put on the pads and go out looking to smash James Harrison.

Plus, she’s a huge football fan. She’s been making the rounds at the Super Bowl this week for Captain Morgan’s First Mate Fund, and for every pose collected this week, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to help retired NFL players. We caught up with her late Friday afternoon, as publicists and her boyfriend buzzed around, and we talked about her favorite team, what sports meant to her growing up and how tough she thinks the Steelers are.

CBSSports.com: Tell me about doing Radio Row.

Marisa Miller: It’s pretty crazy.

CBS: I’m in the Media Center and trying to go out through Radio Row, and I’m tripping over The Situation, and it’s a crazy thing out there. I guess you’re constantly being moved here and there.

MM: I am.

CBS: What’s the experience like?

MM: Honestly, it’s actually kind of nice having everybody in the same room. It does give you the freedom to go to the next person, and there’s the energy of the room. It’s fun doing radio. I really like it.

CBS: More so then video or TV?

MM: It’s a different vibe doing radio. Obviously, it’s just your voice. It’s all about the conversation. It’s fun to talk football. I grew up watching football, since I was about 9 or 10 years old in NorCal. I was a big 49ers fans. That’s something my dad and I did growing up. That was like our bonding time. And this is my sixth Super Bowl.



CBS: None with the 49ers, though.

MM: [makes a sad face] No.

CBS: How did your dad get you into the game?

MM: I’m really close with my dad, and I was always really athletic, so naturally, I gravitated toward sports. I always wanted to hang out with my dad. I played volleyball and basketball in high school. I was just very active. I think football is such a great spectator sport. It’s so intense. It’s such a big part of my family’s social life on the weekend. On Sunday, everybody comes over, I cook a big meal, we scream at the TV. It’s really important to have that healthy competition in your life. I was a pretty shy, sensitive girl growing up. When I started playing sports, it gave me that support system in junior high and high school. That’s a really hard time in anybody’s life. It was nice to have that support.

CBS: The 49ers must have been good when you were growing up. Was that the era of Montana and Rice?

MM: Yep, one of my most vivid memories was watching Super Bowl XXIII with Cincinnati and the 49ers. It was the first time I was watching a game in a public space and not just with my family.

We went to our favorite family restaurant, and they have an upstairs restaurant/bar area with the big screen. It was my first time being in a room with other fans, not just my family. It was a really fun environment. I just remember it was 34 seconds left, Montana to Taylor wins the game and adults were on tables and jumping up and down. I thought it was the funniest thing, because I thought, ‘Wow, these adults can act like kids.’ It was like your license to go crazy and cheer for your team.

It was funny because after that Super Bowl, I was walking through the mall with my friend in San Jose and I passed by Jerry Rice, my childhood hero. I turn around and I had to stop him. I knew exactly who he was. I think he tripped out a little bit, because I was like 11 and he’s like, “How does she know who I am?” He was so gracious. I tore off a piece of my shopping bag, and he signed it. You always hope your childhood hero is as cool as you think they are. He really was.

CBS: What do you think about Jim Harbaugh?

MM: We need something (laugh). We need change. We have a lot of talent on the team. It’s always about working the dynamics, having the right leadership and having it come together. This is going to be a fresh start. I think it’s going to come together.

CBS: They still need a quarterback, though.

MM: (Laughs)

CBS: I don’t think anybody on the team is that guy.

MM: Yeah, we’ll see if anybody on the team steps up. But definitely. Now that we have the coach, it’d be nice to see someone … hey, they passed on Aaron Rodgers. Man, my dad and I talk about that all the time. I don’t think we’re ever going to let that one go.

CBS: Give me your prediction for the Super Bowl. I know you’re buddies with Aaron Rodgers, so don’t let that be a bias.

MM: The great thing about this Super Bowl is that we have two teams that have so much history in the NFL. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowls than anybody, and they obviously have the experience on their side. They’re tough as s---. But having said that, there’s something about Green Bay that I really like, and they’ve had to win some tough games to get here. And they got some momentum. I don’t know. I really think they’re going to do well.

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Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Hot Routes 12.31.10: Artest for Jets TE?

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Ron Artest apparently said at Christmas time that he wants to play tight end for the Jets. All "could this guy actually make the transition from the NBA to the NFL" analysis aside, is there an NBA player who fits better for a particular NFL team better than Artest and the Jets? "Crazy Pills," as Artest is commonly known, wouldn't even be a blip on the radar for that organization.
  • Mike Tice's stock is quickly rising when it comes to assistants who are potential head coaches. This is logical -- the Chicago Bears have one of the least talented offensive lines in football and yet Tice and Mike Martz have managed to make them pretty, pretty productive ever since the Bears' bye week.
  • Would a rookie wage scale increase the number of underclassmen who bolt for the NFL? Well, not necessarily, but maybe so if that makes any sense. If not, check out Mike Florio's breakdown on how the changes in a future CBA would impact kids leaving college early.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:19 am
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Not yet HOFers

Fireworks fly during the 2010 Pro Football HOF induction ceremony (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Pro Football Hall of Fame this past Sunday released the names of the 26 semifinalists that could be inducted into the HOF for 2011. Most of the names you know. You’ve watched them play. You’ve watched them win. You’ve watched them etch out fantastic careers.

Last year, you knew guys like Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith were going to make their way into the HOF in their first years of eligibility. These players were some of the best of all time. It was no contest.

But each year, there are certain players or coaches or executives that are left out who deserve to enter the hallowed halls of the … well … Hall. This Top Ten With a Twist isn’t about the players you know who full well will be inducted into next year’s induction class, minus Prime Time. These are the guys who might not, but who probably should be.

10. George Young, executive: I wonder if Young’s enshrinement has been held off because his skills had declined noticeably late in his career (ie. when free agency was introduced to the game in the early 1990s). But there’s no denying that Young was the NFL executive of the year five times and the teams he worked for won three conference titles and one Super Bowl title. For an executive, he was pretty damn important.

9. Jerry Kramer, OG, Packers (1958-68): While he was a very good player in his day – as the three Pro Bowls, five All-Pro selections and the oodles of championships attest – he did the world a favor when he wrote Instant Replay in 1967, giving fans an inside look at what occurs during an NFL season and at coach Vince Lombardi. No, it’s no Ball Four by Jim Bouton (that guy never could get in baseball’s HOF, by the way), but Kramer’s impact on how the fans view the game is an important piece of the NFL’s history.

8. Steve Tasker, WR/ST, Oilers (1985-86), Bills (1986-97): During his 14-year career, Tasker started a total of 15 games. He never had more than 21 catches in a season, and he caught nine touchdown passes. But the fact he’s perhaps the best special teams player ever to compete in the NFL should give him a path to the HOF. He was a 5-foot-9, 180-pound gunner, and he was fast and lethal. He went to the Pro Bowl seven times, and he was named the MVP of the Pro Bowl in 1993. He didn’t make it to the semifinals this year, but that’s not surprising. Special teamers are not given their just due (see No. 1).

7. Andre Reed, WR, Bills (1985-99), Redskins (2000): Reed has gotten caught up in the WR numbers game. He’s been eligible at the same time as Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Art Monk and Cris Carter, and I can see why it’d be tough to select Reed instead of those kinds of receivers. But you have to remember that Reed ranks ninth in career receptions all time and 11th in receiving yards. At some point, he deserves to be enshrined in Canton. Don’t expect it to happen this year, though.

6. Dermontti Dawson, C, Steelers (1988-2000): Simply put, he’s one of the greatest centers of all time. He made the Pro Bowl seven-straight seasons, and with his athletic ability and his knack for getting out in open space and making key blocks for his running backs, he changed the perception of what a center should be. He’ll probably become a finalist for the second time in as many years. One of these days, he should get the welcoming phone call.

5. Cris Carter, WR, Eagles (1987-89), Vikings (1990-2001), Dolphins (2002): Much like Reed, Carter is overshadowed by other receivers. He finished his career as the No. 2 WR (behind Jerry Rice) in receptions and touchdowns. He’s been passed by Marvin Harrison on the receptions list and by Randy Moss and Terrell Owens on the touchdowns list since he retired, but at some point, Carter should be in. It’s actually a little surprising that he’s not in already.

4. Don Coryell, coach: Yes, he wasn’t the originator of today’s modern offense – that’d be a combination of Sid Gillman, Paul Brown and various others – but his Air Coryell teams in the late 1970s to mid 1980s with the Chargers helped innovate the passing game we still see today. He’s already a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Now, it’s time for him to join Gillman as the only two coaches to be enshrined in the college and the pro Halls of Fame.

3. Deion Sanders, CB/PR, Falcons (1989-93), 49ers (1994), Cowboys (1995-99), Redskins (2000), Ravens (2004-05) : The reasons why are obvious. Just look at the video below. This is his first year eligible, and there’s little chance he won’t make it in immediately.



2. Ed Sabol, contributor: Enjoy watching NFL Films productions? You like watching the behind-the-scenes spots of the players woofing at each other on the sidelines and your favorite coach’s pregame and postgame speeches? If yes, you can thank Sabol, who helped found NFL Films in the mid-1960s. How differently would we view – and think about – the NFL if Sabol hadn’t been such a visionay? That’s unanswerable of course, but the fact NFL Films plays a big role in an NFL’s viewing experience makes Sabol HOF worthy.

1. Ray Guy, P, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1973-86): Simply put, Guy is the greatest punter in the history of the game. But there are no kickers enshrined in the HOF. That must mean they’re less important than anybody else, right? Well, we all know that’s not true. It’s time to get Guy into the Hall. He deserves it.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com