For what feels like forever now, Jerry Rice has been universally known as the best WR of all time. And it is hard to disagree, just take a look at his statistics. He leads in career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. It may be wrong to even bring up another name in the conversation, but I sure will, oh… I sure will.
Antonio Brown entered our football-watching hearts in 2010 when he was just a sixth-round pick who was overlooked by everybody because he was “too small”, “wasn’t fast enough”. Well guess what, Scouts can be wrong sometimes. Most of the time actually when it comes to great NFL players. I wonder if all the scouts that weren’t on the Patriots when Brady was drafted were just fired because they blew it that badly. I mean you can only have so many picks and just skip over the greatest to ever play the QB position. Same may go for AB someday, because since he has stepped into the NFL, as he likes to say, “Business is BOOMIN”.
Brown has already shattered some records, including recording the most receiving yards and receptions over a five-year span. Guy has been the clutchest, most consistent non QB in the NFL in this span. The man is insane. You have seen it. I have seen it. We all have witnessed the greatness of the man they call AB. He is certainly getting into the question of being the greatest receiver to ever hit the gridiron, and I would even go on record to say he is.
Yeah, you are probably looking at me and saying, “you’re nuts”. But I have followed this sport enough, and even more importantly, Brown enough to know that his body of work and where it stacks up against anyone in history. Having the greatest five-year period in the entire history of the NFL means that he was better than Moss, Owens, Rice, Harrison, and literally ANYONE that could come to mind. Last season, Brown missed essentially 2 ½ games last season and still led the entire NFL in receiving yards with 1,533 yards. He is above and beyond the competition in the NFL right now and has officially replaced Calvin Johnson as the best receiver that I have witnessed player. Brown just turned 30 years old yesterday (!!!). Do you know what Megatron did after his age 30 season? Retire. Don’t get me wrong, that man was a machine and truly a monster among men, but at the size AB is and what he is able to accomplish, I’ll take him over Calvin anytime.
The reason I feel Brown at least deserves to be in the discussion is essentially the same reason I back Tom Brady. Brady was a late round pick who carried a chip on his shoulder. Antonio wears number 84 because 32 times 4 is 84, 32 teams, including the Steelers, passed on him all that draft. Another reason to compare them, they carry themselves as always wanting to be better. What they are is never enough. They MUST be better in their mind. There is no other way. Day in and day out, they buckle up and dominate every single game like it could be their last. These two bring that clutch gene to the show every single week as well. I don’t have to explain Brady’s heroics, but I can explain Brown’s. It is tough to be clutch at times when you are not guaranteed the ball in your hands. But all the credit goes to Big Ben.
Well look back at the game against the Packers last season. Remember that catch? (look down, you’re welcome ) Brown does everything he can to get open, to deliver in the clutch. And the last reason I compare these two is because they dominate their peers when they’re not the biggest, the fastest, the most athletic. Brown just get’s it done game in and game out, and at his size, it is unbelievable.
Imma go to bat for Antonio in any conversation of the greatest receivers to ever play the game. I admire the work he puts in game in and game out, how he carries himself as a player and a role model to kids around the world, telling them not to give up on their dreams, as long as they got the heart. And most importantly, the man can balllllll. If he isn’t the greatest yet in your eyes, get ready to admit that he truly is the greatest when it is all said and done for his career. Forget the stupid records, look at the intangibles and what he does at the stature he is. Heart means more than anything.
And don’t forget… #BusinessIsBoomin
So, let me know what you are thinking! How insane do I sound to overlook Jerry Rice? Or do you also recognize the incredible run AB is on at the size he is at and why proving doubters wrong, breaking certain records, and being clutch down the stretch is all that really matters.
Regardless which way you lean, let me know as always!
-Scott Edwards, Creator of WTF Sports