On September 15, 2019, the Tennessee Titans will honor two former players by retiring their numbers. Both quarterback Steve McNair and running back Eddie George were integral pieces for the Titans organization during their tenures with the team. They will be the seventh and eighth players to have their numbers retired by the organization.
McNair was drafted by the Houston Oilers with the third overall pick in the 1995 draft. He played for the Oilers/Titans from 1995 – 2005. He was selected to three Pro Bowls and was the Co-MVP in 2003 along with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. With the Oilers/Titans, McNair passed for over 27,000 yards with 156 touchdowns and 103 interceptions and had 18 game winning drives for the team.
In 1999 McNair helped lead the team to the Super Bowl. While the Titans came a yard short of beating the St. Louis Rams, McNair solidified himself as a top of the league quarterback. His ability to keep his team so close when the Rams were so heavily favored was something to marvel at. It was another example of McNair’s toughness, which was a big part of his game.
Eddie George was drafted a year after McNair with the 14th pick. He played for the Oilers/Titans from 1996 – 2003. He was named the Rookie of the Year as he rushed for 1,368 yards on 335 carries with eight touchdowns in his rookie campaign. In his eight seasons with the team, he rushed for a shade over 10,000 yards and in only one of his eight seasons with the club did he not reach 1,000 yards rushing.
While they would both go on to play for other teams, McNair and George were intertwined during their playing days and will be immortalized together. George, on sharing the honor with McNair said, “I couldn’t imagine having a day like this, to have my jersey retired without his. It means a lot.” For those of us lucky enough to watch the two of them play together, it means a lot as well.