Steve Young on Terrell Owens: ‘He worked as hard as Jerry Rice’

By Vincent Frank

Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice is known for boasting most of the pass-catching records in the NFL. He’s also known for being a true workout warrior, someone that stood above everyone else when it came to keeping himself in shape.

Terrell Owens learned from Rice what it meant to put in the work during his early days as a member of the San Francisco 49ers. So it stands to reason that some of Owens’ success throughout a tremendous career can be attributed to Rice.

As debate continues regarding Owens’ latest exclusion from the Hall of Fame, former 49ers quarterback Steve Young (a Hall of Famer himself) had some tremendous praise to throw the way of his former teammate.

“In 97-98 he would say ‘yes sir’. I said ‘Terrell, call me Steve…I know I’m old, c’mon.’ But he was very respectful. He worked as hard as Jerry Rice,” Young said, via “I’ve never said that about anyone else by the way. He was willing to stand next to Jerry and work, and I’ve never seen that before. So to me, what I saw were his physical abilities were incredible. The work ethic, incredible, and a very respectful guy.”

That’s the ultimate praise to throw Owens’ way. To conclude that he worked as hard as Rice to hone his craft is comparable to calling Owens one of the greatest workout warriors in the history of the game.

In terms of Owens’ credentials to get into the Hall of Fame, Young had this to share.

“Yeah. Because I played with him, I felt like I knew him. I knew the abilities he had,” Young continued. “There’s no question he’s struggled with a lot of things, but in the end, yes.”

The struggles, as already noted by anyone who watched Owens, included the issues he had with the numerous teams he played on.

Despite boasting the second-most receiving yards and third-most receiving touchdowns in NFL history, Owens found himself excluded from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility. It’s certainly been a hot-button issue with some coming out in support of him and others indicating he doesn’t belong in Canton.

Young, who played with both Rice and Owens, is surely a voice of authority on the subject. Though, he is also likely subjective in natural having built a relationship with TO.