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NFL Legend Jerry Rice Backs Rex Grossman

In an interview prior to ESPN's award show, Jerry Rice backed Rex Grossman and Coach Smith's decision to move Devin Hester to offense.

On Grossman:

"I think Rex is really going to have to come into his own this year. Last year he showed flashes and had some good games and he had some bad ones. But I think when you go through adversity like that, it helps you to grow."

He also thinks the receivers need to step up to help out Grossman.

Instead of piling on, Rice said much of the responsibility for the success of the Bears' passing game rests with the improved play of the receivers.

Rice, a 13-time Pro Bowler, is the NFL's all-time career leader in receptions, reception yards and touchdowns. He won three Super Bowl rings.

"For me, it was always adjusting to the quarterback to make it easier for him," Rice said. "I mean, the way you run your routes, being at the right place at the right time.

"That will help the quarterback get rid of the ball quicker. That's the way you can help your quarterback."

On Hester:

"Any time you have a player like Hester who can do something special with the ball every time he touches the ball, you have to put that guy on offense," Rice said.

Rice said he foresees no problem for Hester learning how to get off the line of scrimmage and into his pass pattern.

"You know he has the quickness," Rice said. "You don't want to send this guy across the middle because you know that if he goes across the middle he is going to get punished.

"You don't want to get him injured, but you know he can make plays on the outside. And it is going to be a hard match-up for the defense when you put Hester in that slot position against the linebacker."

Nothing completely new, but this is the first time I have heard somebody talk about what another position needs to do to help Grossman achieve this year what most of us think he can.