SANTA CLARA -- If the 49ers want receiving help, Jerry Rice is willing to contribute -- as a consultant.
No, Rice isn't looking to put back on a 49ers uniform, three years after getting enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his unparalleled, 20-year career.
Nor is Rice looking at becoming a full-time coach. But to "maybe counsel these guys, I'd love to do that," Rice said Monday on a media conference call promoting his role in the upcoming Golf Channel series "Big Break NFL Puerto Rico."
The 49ers (2-2) have had scant production from receivers other than Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis. That wasn't unexpected, not after leading wideout Michael Crabtree tore an Achilles in May and is likely out until at least December.
"With the Niners right now, you have a young corps of receivers," Rice, 50, said. "Of course Anquan Boldin has been around a long time and has had a lot of success. Beside that, it's a young group.
"If I could pass knowledge on to them, it'd be fantastic and something I'd pursue down the road."
Coach Jim Harbaugh is not believed to be seeking outside input, nor has there been any public criticism of receivers coach John Morton or first-year offensive assistant Ronald Curry. Harbaugh hasn't shied away from hiring consultants, however, and former Jets and Browns coach Eric Mangini is in his first year as a senior offensive consultant.
Curry and Rice were Raiders teammates from 2002-2004. Rice played from 1985-2000 with the 49ers before moving on to the Raiders and finishing his playing days later in 2004 with the Seattle Seahawks. Rice attended 2005 training camp with the Denver Broncos before retiring.
Returning to the NFL as a full-time coach isn't enticing to Rice: "Maybe the coaching role, I feel you really don't have a life. You have to be totally committed to it. I spent so many years committing myself to the game of football."
Boldin accounts for 24 of the team's 68 receptions, and he is averaging a team-high 15.5 yards per catch with two touchdowns. The 49ers' other three receiving touchdowns have come from Davis, who's averaging 12.4 yards per catch with 11 receptions.
Kyle Williams ranks third with nine receptions (9.7 ypc.), followed by fullback Bruce Miller (eight catches, 78 yards), running back Frank Gore (five catches, 56 yards). Rookie tight end Vance McDonald has just one catch in each of his first four games, none longer than his 25-yard debut effort.
Marlon Moore had only one catch for 6 yards before his deactivation Thursday in favor of Jon Baldwin, who will have an expanded role. Rookie Quinton Patton likely will miss the next four games recovering from a broken foot. Patton had no receptions through three games but served in the No. 2 role Thursday night before his foot injury.
About 1½ years ago, Rice offered to help tutor A.J. Jenkins upon his selection as the 49ers' first-round draft pick. It's believed Jenkins never took Rice up on the offer. Jenkins got traded in August to the Kansas City Chiefs after a zero-catch rookie season.
A three-time Super Bowl champion with the 49ers, Rice is the NFL's record holder for receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895), receiving touchdowns (197), total touchdowns (208) and 1,000-yard receiving seasons (14).
Rice's competitive drive has carried over to his post-retirement endeavors, such as appearing on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and golfing on the Nationwide Tour.
In his latest endeavor, Rice recently finished shooting for the Golf Channel's "Big Break NFL Puerto Rico," where he competed with five other ex-NFL players: Tim Brown, Chris Doleman, Marc Bulger, Al Del Greco and Mark Rypien. The show premiers next Tuesday, Oct. 8, and will air weekly on Tuesday nights (6 p.m. PT).
"It was very competitive," Rice said. "And when you get so many ballplayers together, that competitive nature comes out. Yeah I wanted to be beat Tim Brown, I wanted to beat all those guys. It was a lot of fun."