NEW ORLEANS -- Randy Moss today said he didn't mean to disrespect Jerry Rice on Tuesday when he said he, Moss, was the best wide receiver to have played the game. But he wasn't taking back his claim, either. "It just sent shock waves throughout the whole world," Moss said of his comment. "That wasn't the intention. It really wasn't."
"There's no disrespect, man. There's no animosity, there's no tension with Jerry Rice," Moss continued. "He started the thing. He came from a smaller school than Marshall. You know what I'm saying? And I followed his whole career and I've seen the plays that he's had."
"But I'm not going to sit here and degrade this man and disrespect this man for everything he's accomplished. Because he has accomplished more than me. He has the championships. He has the numbers. But what I said yesterday as far as the impact that I'm able to make on this game of football - I believe that I did change the game of football. And I don't mean that being cocky or anything like that. I'm confident in what I'm able to do."
Rice, who played 20 years in the league, is an analyst for ESPN. On Tuesday, he said he was surprised Moss referred to himself as the greatest. "You'd never hear me say I'm the greatest football player to ever play the game, " he said. "I let my body of work speak for itself, and I think I was able to be very productive on the football field."
"You have to look at the stats, you have to look at how you impacted the game, and it's all about winning this right here, this is it, the Super Bowl, and I was fortunate to win three," Rice continued. "Randy he finally has a chance to prove himself this weekend, and I wish him the best."
Moss has made one previous trip to the Super Bowl, in 2007, but his Patriots lost to the Giants.
- Matt Barrows