Jerry Rice on the 49ers Passing on Aaron Rodgers: “We decided to make the worst move ever”

February 4, 2011 – 9:45 am by Chris Fedor

Joe Montana and Jerry Rice made up the best duo of quarterback and wide receiver in NFL history. This weekend, there are some pretty good duos on both sides of the field. Ben Roethlisberger has future Hall-Of-Famer Hines Ward to throw to and Aaron Rodgers has Greg Jennings. Both of the teams playing this weekend have quarterbacks that are playing at an extremely high level and both are former first round picks as well.

It wasn’t long ago when the San Francisco 49ers had the first pick in the NFL Draft and they were trying to decide between Alex Smith and California native Aaron Rodgers. The 49ers ended up picking Smith, it has set the franchise back, and they still ahve yet to recover from that. The 49ers are still looking for an answer at the most important position in the league while the Pack took Aaron Rodgers and will be playing for the Super Bowl this weekend. One decision has completely altered the direction of two franchises and that fact is not lost on the best wide receiver in NFL history.

Joe Montana and Jerry Rice joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about who they are rooting for in this year’s Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers getting passed up by the 49ers, and how the game is a little different now as opposed to when they were playing.

If he would ‘ve been too small to play nowadays in terms of his playing weight:

JM “I don’t think so. I talk to my two boys and I say be careful when you’re lifting you don’t want to get to a weight where you can’t move. Part of what I did, I didn’t like staying in the pocket. If I had to stay there too long I was going to try and get outside. If I didn’t feel like I could do that I didn’t feel good about myself and thought my weight was too heavy.”

JR: “I was sort of a crazy guy because I played around with my weight a lot. I felt like I needed to come in heavy at times because of the defensive backs being physical at the line of scrimmage, but then I lost some of my quickness coming off the line of scrimmage. If I came in at 188 or 189 I felt like I had my quickness and I could blow by defensive backs. I would always play with it and I think it helped me in the long run because it gave me longevity.”

How much the shotgun has changed things and whether or not they used it at all:

JM “We got in the shotgun one time and the ball was snapped over my head. That was the last time we were in the shotgun and we never saw it again. We tried with Bill one year. I can’t remember who was at center that one time and the ball was snapped over my head and that was it. He said we’re not doing that anymore.”

Are you rooting for the Steelers Joe?

JM “It’s hard not to. I grew up in Pittsburgh and I don’t know. It’s going to be kind of a tough one for me. Although I grew up a Steelers fan.”

JR “Green Bay because Aaron Rodgers was at Cal and I thought we were going to draft him to the San Francisco 49ers, but we decided to make the worst move ever, not sign him, and we decided to go with Alex Smith.”

If they had any input in the draft the year the 49ers passed up Aaron Rodgers:

JR “I remember being over there catching balls with Aaron Rodgers and I knew that this guy could really help the San Francisco 49ers.”

JM “No. not at all. I think its a tough transition froma  pure shotgun standpoint and then coming in the league where you have to go under center and take snaps, its a completely different game.”

Listen to Joe Montana and Jerry Rice on the Dan Patrick Show here

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