Yes, Ron Rivera went there.
When talking about Odell Beckham Jr., the Panthers coach brought up Jerry Rice.
Ron Rivera on Odell Beckham: “I played against Jerry Rice, and I see a lot of flashes of Jerry Rice in his game.”
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) December 16, 2015
The Panthers (13-0) will put their perfect record on the line Sunday when they visit the Giants (6-7). The most riveting individual matchup of Week 15 will be Panthers cornerback Josh Norman against Beckham.
Against DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton, Mike Evans, Julio Jones and Dez Bryant, Norman has allowed a total of nine receptions, according to NFL.com.
Beckham, meanwhile, has 176 receptions in his first two seasons, the most in NFL history.
It should be interesting to see Beckham and Norman going at it, and Rivera shows nothing but the utmost respect for his opponent’s biggest playmaker even if he was in danger of going all Mike Pettine for a second.
Pettine essentially said this week that Russell Wilson is a second-tier quarterback. Bad idea when your team is facing that supposed second-tier quarterback on Sunday.
Rivera initially brought up Julio Jones when asked if Beckham would be the top receiver his team has encountered this season, but he saved himself two sentences later when he put Beckham in the conversation with Rice, widely considered to be the greatest wide receiver of all-time.
If Beckham plays a big role in ruining the Panthers’ perfect season, he’ll add to an already flashy resumé.