NEW ORLEANS -- Randy Moss is standing by his claim that he's the best receiver to ever play in the NFL.

"What I said is what I felt, and I don't want to get into a shouting match with Jerry Rice or anybody," Moss said Wednesday during the 49ers' media access for Super Bowl XLVII. "It's my personal opinion. (Rice) has the numbers, but I don't believe in numbers."

Rice also has three Super Bowl rings. Moss is looking to win his first Sunday when the 49ers face the Baltimore Ravens at the Superdome.

"In today's society, it's how we measures athletes or teams -- on rings," Moss said. "I don't base it that way. I changed the game. But I'm not trying to make it all about me."

Moss, in 2007, broke one of Rice's records by catching 23 touchdown passes for the New England Patriots. Moss noted Wednesday that Rice never phoned him to offer congratulations, something Moss said he'd do to anyone who's surpassed one of his records.

"With the respect and love I have for (Rice), not that I wanted a call, but I thought I would at least get a call to say, 'Congratulations' or something like that," Moss said.

Rice, an ESPN analyst, said Tuesday about Moss' best-ever claim: "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."


Advertisement

Moss returned last March from a one-year hiatus to resume his career for a 14th season. Moss' 156 touchdown catches rank second all-time to Rice's 197.

"If I had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, what would my numbers be? I worked with one for a few years, and that was Tom Brady," Moss said. "Give me Tom Brady for the next five or six years and you'll see what my numbers would be. ...

"I'm not trying to be disrespectful, because I have love for Jerry Rice. By me saying I'm the greatest wide receiver to ever do it, that's just my personal opinion. ... I don't want to get him fired up and make him think I'm being disrespectful. He started this, you know?"

  • The 49ers offensive line was honored as the league's best via John Madden's Most Valuable Protectors Award. "They have proven they have the mental and physical toughness that enables their team's offense to put up impressive numbers on the ground and in the air," Madden said in a statement.

    The 49ers won Madden's weekly honors three times during the season. "That's been a phenomenal group for us, and I'd call them offensive weapons as well," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.

    All five linemen have started every game this season -- left tackle Joe Staley, left guard Mike Iupati, center Jonathan Goodwin, right guard Alex Boone and right tackle Anthony Davis.

  • Safety Dashon Goldson can't sign a new contract with the 49ers until after the season, and he expects that to happen. "We haven't spoken anything about a contract, but I don't see why I wouldn't be around," said Goldson, who earned a $6,212,000 salary under the franchise tag. "Those guys understand what I've done, and how can you say I don't deserve anything I might receive?"

    The 49ers could place the tag on him again for $7.45 million next season if they don't agree to a multiyear deal.

    Goldson has earned Pro Bowl honors the past two seasons, and he was one of six 49ers to make the Associated Press' First-Team All-Pro.

  • Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith, the 49ers' starting outside linebackers, were the only players limited Wednesday in the team's first Super Bowl practice at the New Orleans Saints' facility in Metairie.

    Both are battling left shoulder injuries, and both are expected to play Sunday against the Ravens, who had no players limited in their first practice here.

    Brooks said Tuesday he's battling a sprained AC joint, and Smith has been dealing with his ailment for a couple months. Harbaugh declined to confirm the nature of Brooks' injury, telling pool reporter John Clayton of ESPN: "I don't get into what those guys have. If they want to give that information, that's fine. I always feel uncomfortable saying what a player has."

    Staff writers Daniel Brown and Jerry McDonald contributed to this report.