Jerry Rice Jokingly Told Jon Gruden He'd Have 80 Catches for Raiders at Age 55

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2018

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 26:  Wide receiver Jerry Rice #80 of the Oakland Raiders carries the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium on January 26, 2003 in San Diego, California.  The Buccaneers won 48-21.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Jerry Rice prospered under head coach Jon Gruden when he joined the Oakland Raiders in 2001, and the Hall of Famer joked Wednesday that he could still contribute if the Silver and Black gave him a call now that Gruden is back at the helm.

"I was joking around with Jon Gruden about this because I told him, I said 'Jon,' I said, 'Look I still got about 80 catches in me,'" Rice told ESPN's Adam Schefter on The Adam Schefter Podcast. "And he was like, 'Don't joke with me cause, you know, we'll seriously sign you, you know, back to the team.' But yeah, you know what? I played it for over 20 years. It's a whole different game now. It's more of a passer game now and it's the ideal situation for wide receivers."

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

The 55-year-old Jerry Rice on this week’s “The Adam Schefter Podcast”: https://t.co/DSqMHIAcUO

In his lone season under Gruden, Rice recorded 83 catches for 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns. All told, he managed 243 receptions for 3,286 yards and 18 scores in 54 career appearances with the Raiders. 

And while comments regarding a comeback are merely comedic fodder at this point, the 55-year-old has been a proponent of the franchise's decision to reunite with Gruden. 

"He can be your best friend or your worst enemy," Rice told reporters following Gruden's introductory press conference, according to ESPN.com's Paul Gutierrez. "That's going to keep you on your toes. And maybe that was something that the players, they were lacking this year.

"I hope these players are ready because they're going to get Chucky. They're going to get him ... Chucky's going to come out."

In his first year back on the job, Gruden will attempt to propel the Raiders to the playoffs once again and overhaul a passing game that regressed throughout a disappointing 6-10 season.