The Burn with Ben Newman: Episode 5 with Jerry Rice

The Burn with Ben Newman and Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice, one of the greatest players on earth to play the game of football confirms the drive that led him to 3 Superbowl Championships and holding over 100 NFL records.

“How can you not give 100% when it’s 100% your choice”

About Jerry Rice

Jerry Rice is a former NFL wide receiver who most notably played for the San Francisco 49ers.

What’s really amazing about Jerry is that most would assume he would have been a 1st round draft pick when in fact he was not drafted to the NFL until the 16th round.

Jerry holds over 100 records in the NFL.

Full Interview with Jerry Rice and Ben Newman

Jerry Rice: If you don’t give yourself the opportunity or if you don’t give 100%, you don’t have a chance.  And that was always something that Bill Walls, the head coach, preached to us.  He said, “If you guys don’t work hard during the week, it’s not gonna happen on that Sunday or that Monday.”

Ben Newman: It’s an honor, and I’m excited for us to have this opportunity to spend time with him, an individual, who in 1985, was drafted 16th overall by the San Francisco 49ers.  He went on to win three Superbowl championships.  He was the Superbowl MVP, an MVP, and check this out, you want to hear about some records?  Just let me do my thing.  You want to hear about some records?  36 NFL records, which is an NFL record, 208 touchdowns, 1549 receptions, 22,859 yards.

Jerry Rice: Wait, 22,895 yards.

Ben Newman: 895?  22,985?  I was close.

Jerry Rice: All right, keep going.

Ben Newman: So, I think he already knows this, but the leadership, the example, what it means to attack the process, and to now be recognized as the greatest NFL player to ever play the game, I’m very excited to have this opportunity to be with Jerry Rice, and for us to spend the time.  How about a round of applause for Jerry Rice?

Jerry Rice: Thank you.  Thanks a lot.

Ben Newman: Thank you for letting me actually —

Jerry Rice: You did everything, you know, correctly.

Ben Newman: So, there’s so many accomplishments, the Superbowl, Hall of Fame.  What are you most proud of when you look at the whole body of work of what you’ve accomplished in your life?

Jerry Rice: I think the most important thing is probably my approach to the game.  It was not about the records.  It was not about, you know, all the Superbowls and all that, you know?  It was about my work ethic.  And, you know, coming from a very small school and having people to say — tell you that you’re not gonna be successful, and you proved them wrong.  So, you know, when I think about my career, it’s about my legacy and work ethic.  Today, I’ll do what others want, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.  And it’s all about the work ethic, having the confidence, and then just going out there and just getting everything done.

Ben Newman: What I think is so interesting to hear, all the answers, dialogue, when I look at these three words —

Jerry Rice: Yeah.

Ben Newman: You know, I always say, when you are intentional, it gives you an opportunity to achieve greatness, which then leads to leaving a legacy.  And, you know, for me, when you look at a body of work like yours, the mindset —  it’s this.

Jerry Rice: Yeah, it really is.

Ben Newman: You know, it’s for all of us to say these words are up here, but then to literally be able to look, you know, (inaudible – 00:03:42) the same thing, it’s living these words.  And almost every answer, you’re so intentional, almost methodical —

Jerry Rice: Yep.

Ben Newman: — in how you’ve gone about doing things.  So, how important is — and I know you mentioned it, but just hone in on that intentional piece.  It seems like you were tremendously intentional.

Jerry Rice: Well, because I was always looking for that perfect game.  I never got that perfect game, because I could always go back, and I can look at something that I did do in that game.  I could have a game where I have 8 to 10 catches, over 200-something yards, three touchdowns, and I go back and I look at the film, I say, Jerry Rice, you’ve got to make that block.  You know, that block right there could have been the block to screen Roger Craig or Tom Rathman.  So, it was always about trying to be precise on the field.  And I never had that perfect game, but it just kept me motivated to continue to work hard.

Ben Newman: It’s really interesting, we were chatting about the intentionality leading up to a game, or those two-minute drives, or those moments where people are locked in.  It takes leaders to get into that mindset to do what you did.  It was really interesting.  If you don’t mind sharing how the audience would quiet down and how intentional and focused you guys would all get.

Jerry Rice: Yeah, so Superbowl XXIII, guys, on the final drive, and, you know, that’s something I’ll never forget, because everything is on the line.  No one is gonna remember the loser.  You’ve got to move the ball over 80 yards down field.  One mistake, ball game is over, you lose the Superbowl.  So, Joe came into the huddle — Montana came into the huddle, and, you know, of course, I just told Joe, throw me the ball.  That’s all you got to do.  No, just joking.  Joe came into the huddle, and he called out two plays, and at that time, during the two-minute drill, there’s two plays.  You’ve got to be able to move fast and everything is about timing.  And once we broke the huddle, everything went completely quiet, because I’m so focused.  I know exactly what I have to do.  Every catch is an important catch.  Every route is an important route.  And we were able to move the ball all the way down field.  And John Taylor made that catch, and then all the sudden I heard the crowd.  So, it’s all about being in the zone.   Yeah, you might be nervous, you know, you might be that fear of failure, but it brings out the best in you, and it always did that for me.  It was amazing, because I was terrified to death of playing in the Superbowl.  I went out and played my best football game, so it brings out the best in you, even though you have that fear.


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