How does Jerry Rice's rookie year in 1985 compare to AJ Jenkins' rookie year in 2012? It doesn't, but that isn't stopping revisionist historians on several bay area online sports forums from comparing the two. Most of the comments hinge on Rice's early struggles with dropped passes, but for all that criticism, Rice still caught 49 balls, for 927 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also averaged a ridiculous 18.9 yards per reception, and he wasn't even the number 1 receiver on the team that year.
Critics will naturally counter that Rice had the greatest quarterback of all time in Joe Montana, which is true, but Rice's rookie year stats are still on par with those of other elite wide receivers in the game today that didn't have nearly as good a quarterback during their rookie campaign.
Look up Calvin Johnson's and Larry Fitzgerald's first year stats, and then look at who they had to catch passes from - Jon Kitna and Josh McCown - yuck! Yet Megatron and Fitz still produced on teams that were downright abysmal. Shoot, years later those teams STILL are abysmal and they STILL produce!
Anyways, this isn't a bash A.J. Jenkins piece, but rather a retrospective on how great Jerry Rice really was. Rice hit the ground running and never let up until he was literally running on fumes at the age of 42. By the way, did Jenkins ever take up Rice's offer to show him 'the hill' ..?