NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WDAM) - Steve McNair, a Mississippi high school and college football legend who led the Tennessee Titans to their lone Super Bowl appearance, will have his jersey number retired by his former National Football League franchise.
McNair and former teammate, running back Eddie George, will have their No. 9 and No. 27 jerseys enter hallowed territory, respectively, when the Titans host the Indianapolis Colts in the Sept. 15 home opener.
The duo played together from 1996-2003, leading the former Houston Oilers through their relocation to Tennessee. During that span, the Titans posted the NFL’s third-best record, trailing only the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos.
“Steve and Eddie will be forever linked as two of the driving forces for our team in the late 90s and early 2000s,” said Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk. “They were the heart and soul of the team and each made the other a better player and ultimately led to a great deal of team success.
“Their statistics will forever live in our record books, but their play and sacrifice (are) what our fans will always remember. For that and all they have done for our team, the numbers nine and 27 will be retired with the all-time franchise greats.”
McNair, who starred at Mt. Olive High School and Alcorn State University, played for the Oilers/Titans from 1995-2005. He threw for 27,141 yards and 156 touchdowns and 96 interceptions as the franchise transitioned from Houston through Memphis and finally Nashville.
McNair ranks first in franchise history in quarterback victories, second in passing yardage (behind Warren Moon), tied for second in game-winning drives (with Moon) and third in touchdown passes (Moon and George Blanda).
McNair died on July 4, 2009.
He and George will become the seventh and eighth players in franchise history to have their numbers retired, joining Moon (No. 1), running back Earl Campbell (No. 34), safety Jim Norton (No. 43), offensive lineman Mike Munchak (No. 63), defensive end Elvin Bethea (No. 65) and offensive tackle Bruce Matthews (No. 74).
McNair and George join Matthews as the only retired jerseys to have played for the Titans, who officially were born the same season that McNair and George led them to Super Bowl XXXIV.
McNair has had his jersey number retired by Alcorn St. and Mt. Olive.