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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Rice surprised by Raiders' idea of rebuilding

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posted on Oct, 6 2004 @ 09:15 PM
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) When Jerry Rice began his career with San Francisco 19 years ago, the 49ers had just won their second Super Bowl.

There was a locker-room mentality that they'd play for the title every year. Everyone believed that, and San Francisco reached the championship game again in 1988, '89 and 1994 - winning rings each time.

Rice isn't sensing that same urgency in Oakland.

"What I'm saying is, when you have so many new guys, a team has a tendency to say, 'Well, we're a work in progress. It might take, you know, another year. It might be two years,' " he said Wednesday as the Raiders (2-2) prepared to play at Indianapolis on Sunday.

"I walked into a situation like that (in San Francisco), and I was like, 'We're going back to a Super Bowl.' That's the way I felt. We had to rebuild. We had new guys coming in and stuff like that, but we felt the urgency to win right now, and that was it."

While Raiders owner Al Davis refuses to call this a rebuilding season, Oakland has a new coach in Norv Turner, a handful of new faces in key positions, and a new defense. The Raiders are trying to rebound from a 4-12 season, the worst collapse by a team that made the Super Bowl the previous year.

Turner has repeatedly said he values Rice, but has also made it known several different receivers will make plays in this offense.

"The frustrating thing when you look at it is there's situations, there's opportunities, and the ball has been thrown his way. It's just sometimes you're not in the sync you want to be," Turner said. "It seems like that's the way it's been, because there have been situations where he could have had production. And obviously we're trying to play other guys also."

It's clear that Rice, who turns 42 next week, is quickly becoming frustrated with his diminishing role. He admits it's affecting him.

Rice worked just as hard this offseason as he has his entire career, and he still enjoys the routine of the NFL, even down to pulling on his uniform a certain way on Sundays. He says he tries to learn something new each season.

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