NFL Hall of Famers Jerry Rice  and Steve Young talked with Mut & Merloni on Friday about Ray Lewis ‘ legacy, the 49ers’ chances, and Randy Moss ‘ recent declaration that he’s the best wide receiver of all time.
“You don’t declare yourself a leader, you have people follow you,” Young said of Moss. “You don’t declare yourself the greatest of all time, you have other people tell you. If you need to say that, then there’s a problem, and I said, Jerry, don’t even respond.”
“I’ve been very fortunate to play with some of the best players to ever play the game,” said Rice, widely considered one of the best receivers of all time himself. “Just my body of work and my dedication to the game, I leave it up to the fans to say if you’re the best player to ever play the game.”
Young was also unconvinced of the benefits of the deer antler spray Lewis allegedly used to aid his recovery from a triceps injury.
“This is foolishness,” he said. “It sounds like the stupidest thing there is, I think. Anyone that’s going to go out to somebody and say, ‘Here, I have some deer antler juice for you’ – it’s like you’re going to grow an extra eyeball. Who needs this stuff?”
Rice said the accusations won’t affect Lewis’ place among the all-time greats.
“Seventeen years and he’s playing his best football right now,” Rice said. “The last three playoff games, I think he has around 44 tackles, so he’s getting it done on defense. The guy would have to be in the top five defensive players to ever play the game.”
Following are some highlights from the conversation. To hear the full interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page .
On Tim Brown’s complaint about Bill Callahan ‘sabotaging’ the Raiders in the 2003 Super Bowl :
Jerry: “I think it was all about the game plan. I think sabotage might not be the word, but when you practice all week long and you want to run the football, you’re averaging over 300-some yards, and you’ve got great running backs like Tyrone Wheatley, Zach Crockett, and the plan is to run the football and then you change it on a Friday, you can attach whatever name you want to it, but I just felt like we were at a disadvantage going into that game.”
On Wes Welker  as an aging receiver:
Jerry: “I think Wes Welker is an exceptional receiver. I like his heart and I had a chance to talk to him when he came out to ESPN, and the guy, he’s a hard worker, he makes the plays, and I think really he deserves a big-time contract, and I don’t know why they don’t want to give him a big-time contract.”
Steve: “The biggest problem with Wes is the age – you get a number and then you drop a ball, and then it’s like everyone puts it together. I mean, he has dropped balls before.”
Jerry: “But once I got into my 30s, they tried to put me out to pasture many, many times.”
Steve: “As soon as you get to a number and anything happens, they start talking about, ‘it’s a young man’s game.’ You start getting 35, 36, that’s all you hear about. You can’t hardly play. ‘How are you doing it?’ You finally do retire because you get so sick of it.”
On fans turning against Tom Brady  and Bill Belichick :
Steve: “It is foolish, because I heard that about Bill Belichick, ‘maybe Bill Belichick should leave the Patriots.’ We were part of the greatest run in football history with the 49ers, we understand what it takes to stay on top, and the Patriots are doing the same thing. And they might be in the middle of it.
“Foolish people, I think because of the fear of the end – it’s been such a fun time in boston for a long time, and Tom Brady has dragged this team to places it would have never been, and he’ll continue to. He’s got years left in him. And Bill Belichick, how could you not just stand back and just let that run out? Now, sooner or later it will slow down, which is inevitable, but ‘¦ you need to stand back and look at the talent that the 49ers are bringing to the Super Bowl. It’s a much different talent than the Patriots brought to the table this year, yet they made it to the [AFC] Championship game. It’s a greatness that’s been dragged by a few great people and people just need to stand back in awe of it. I’m in awe of what Tom Brady has done.
Jerry on his pick for the Super Bowl and whether he’ll pick the Ravens as he did over the Patriots: “No, no, the San Francisco 49ers . They’re going to win this one and it’s going to be a close football game, 24-17.”
Steve: “I try to be pretty objective about it. I truly believe the 49ers, the times they’ve fallen this year, they really screwed it up. This is the best team in the league coming out of the bus. When they get off the bus, if they don’t screw it up, they should win. Best offensive line i’ve seen since the 2000 Rams and since then the 93 Cowboys. This is a group of guys that can dictate terms to the rest of the league, can turn back to Alex Smith  or Colin Kaepernick and say, settle down, it’s going to be fine, we’ve got you covered. There’s no other team in the league that has that kind of offensive line.”
Jerry: “You have to talk about their receiving core, too. I think Michael Crabtree  stepped his game up, Vernon Davis, all those guys, they’re getting it done. And now Randy Moss, he’s going to have a lot of one-on-ones so he should be a real factor in this game.”
On who’s better dressed between the two of them:
Steve: “That guy was hot in 1987. Everything was perfect, the hair, the clothes. I wore a pork chop on my head. I wore my high school sweats. I get the most improved, by far, but Jerry’s been looking good for a long time.”