NFL news of October 31, 2002

Jerry Rice knows he’s an oddity.

He’s heard it before, especially since he left the 49ers two years ago and signed with the Raiders. It was a move he made look as quick and as easy as stripping off one jersey and throwing on another.

Facing his former team Sunday for the first time since he departed is just one small chapter in the book whose plot has unfolded over 18 years in the NFL.

As with his transition from one team to another, Rice makes success and his longevity sound rather simple.

“I never feel like I have arrived,” Rice said. “I never feel like I’m playing my best football. I think that’s still the reason I’m out there working so hard.”

That’s an odd perspective for a wide receiver who has been invited to 12 Pro Bowls, owns more than a dozen NFL records and already has been named a member of the NFL 75th Anniversary Team.

— Ann Tatko, Contra Costa Times “Rice can change teams without altering passion”

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