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A Look Back at the Career of Steve McNair

Posted Jul 4, 2009

 
#9 STEVE McNAIR

QUARTERBACK

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 230 lbs.

Born: 2-14-73

NFL Experience (NFL/Titans): 13/11

Acquired by the Titans: First-Round Draft Pick (Third Overall) – 2005

College: Alcorn State (1991-94)

Career Games Played/Games Started: 161/153 (Playoffs 10/10)

Career Regular Season Passing Statistics: 4,544 passing attempts, 2,733 completions (60.1%), 31,304 yards, 174 touchdowns, 119 interceptions, 82.8 rating

Career Regular Season Rushing Statistics: 669 rushing attempts, 3,590 yards (5.4 avg.), 37 touchdowns

Pro Bowls (4): 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006

PRO: Quarterback Steve McNair announced his retirement from the NFL on April 17, 2008. In 13 NFL seasons, including 11 campaigns with the Titans and two with the Baltimore Ravens, the former first-round draft pick set team records, accumulated the most wins of any quarterback in Titans/Oilers history and earned four Pro Bowl berths (2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006). However, he perhaps gained equal notoriety for the toughness he exuded and the intangibles he brought to his teams.

Prior to and during his storied career, McNair set benchmarks, broke stereotypes and, at times, defied belief. From humble beginnings – only one university, Alcorn State, wanted him to play quarterback coming out of high school – to leading the Titans through the most successful five-year run in team history, he garnered repeated accolades for his grace, athleticism and dogged determination to win. He is the only quarterback in franchise history to lead his club to the Super Bowl, contributing to a magical run to Super Bowl XXXIV following the 1999 season.

At halftime of a Titans-Colts Monday night game on October 27, 2008, he was recognized in a manner reserved for the franchise’s greatest players, as he was inducted into both the Titans/Oilers Hall of Fame and the newly-created Ring of Honor at LP Field.

McNair’s Rise

After being drafted in 1995, he sat and learned for most of his rookie season and much of 1996. By his third NFL season, he was poised to take charge of the team’s offense. Amid the backdrop of the team’s move from Houston to its temporary home in Memphis and finally to Nashville, McNair’s ascension into the NFL’s elite mirrored that of the team’s. By 1999, the team had found a permanent home at the Coliseum, and McNair was poised to lead the Titans to their first Super Bowl appearance. He continued to win games and win over fans with his remarkable play. Many football historians too were convinced. There are three players in the history of the NFL who have passed for 30,000 yards and rushed for 3,500 yards – Fran Tarkenton, Steve Young and McNair.

In 2003, McNair’s individual career reached a new level. He successfully guided the Titans to the team’s fourth playoff appearance in five seasons. Along the way, he shared one of the most prestigious awards in sports with Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, the Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player Award. He became only the second member of the Oilers/Titans to win the MVP award, joining Earl Campbell, who won it in 1979. Also voted to start the Pro Bowl for the AFC, McNair’s 100.4 passer rating in 2003 was the highest in the league and the best in team history.

Record Setter

McNair’s 27,141 passing yards in a Titans uniform (he had an additional 4,163 yards with the Ravens) rank second in club annals behind Warren Moon (33,685). He is the team’s all-time leader in completion percentage (59.5%) and ranks second in completions (2,305), second in attempts (3,871) and third in touchdowns (156).

McNair’s 83.3 passer rating as a member of the Titans ranks first in team history, while his combined career rating of 82.8, including his time in Baltimore, is the 23rd highest career rating in NFL history (through the 2008 season, minimum 1,500 attempts).

In 2002, he completed a string of 23 games in which he passed for at least one touchdown (10/14/01-11/24/02), breaking Warren Moon’s mark of 21 games. McNair was the team’s fourth quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards in a season (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005), joining Moon, George Blanda and Ken Stabler, and he was only the second to reach the mark in three consecutive seasons (Moon, 1989-1991). He became the youngest of the four to hit the 3,000-yard mark in 1998, and in 2002, at the age of 29, he became the franchise’s youngest quarterback to reach 100 touchdown passes (Moon, 33).

A Dual Threat

McNair became one of the NFL’s top dual threats, equally capable of changing plays and games with his arm and feet. From the time he became a full-time starter at the beginning of the 1997 season through the end of his career, he produced at least one touchdown passing and/or rushing in 112 of 148 games. His 3,590 career rushing yards trailed only Michael Vick (3,859) among all NFL quarterbacks for the 13-year time span from 1995 through 2007 and rank fifth all-time among quarterbacks behind Randall Cunningham (4,928), Steve Young (4,239), Vick and Fran Tarkenton (3,674). Of the group, only Young and Tarkenton had more career passing yards than McNair. Additionally, McNair is ranked fifth in Titans history in rushing yards (3,439 with the Titans). He became the first quarterback since the 1970 NFL merger to twice rush for eight touchdowns in a season (1997 and 1999), and his 1997 rushing total of 674 yards was, at the time, the third-highest rushing total by a quarterback in NFL history behind Randall Cunningham (942 yards in 1990) and Bobby Douglas (968 yards in 1972).

McNair passed for 174 touchdowns during his career, a total that tied Kerry Collins for sixth in the NFL for the 13 seasons he competed, behind only Brett Favre (372), Peyton Manning (306), Drew Bledsoe (211), Tom Brady (197) and Mark Brunell (182) during that time period.

Continuing the Dream

While cementing his name in the upper echelon of current NFL players, McNair kept alive the dream of African-American pioneers before him. In navigating his team through the 1999 playoffs, he became the first African-American quarterback to lead an AFC team to the Super Bowl and only the second to win a conference championship (Doug Williams). He then became the first African-American quarterback to win the league’s MVP award in 2003.

In his MVP acceptance speech on January 2, 2004, McNair credited several former players for their role in laying groundwork for himself and others: "First and foremost, I’d like to thank the guys who paved the way for myself and a lot of other guys. The Warren Moons, the Doug Williamses, the Randall Cunninghams. Those guys paved the way for us as black quarterbacks to come in this league and be successful … Those guys had great careers and made the ultimate path for myself. There are a lot of guys in the National Football League that thank those guys, [like] Daunte Culpepper, Donovan McNabb, all those guys who have been successful and have been named to the Pro Bowl who right now are not able to say those things, so that’s why I’m saying it for them.”

Flair for the Dramatic

Perhaps one statistic speaks more clearly to McNair’s ability than numerous others: wins. With a 48-27 win at Green Bay on October 11, 2004, he became the team’s all-time winningest quarterback, surpassing Warren Moon’s former record of 70 wins. His career record as a starter was 91-62 (.595), including a winning percentage of .580 (76-55) with the Titans. He authored three 13-3 seasons during his career, including back-to-back 13-win seasons with the Titans in 1999 and 2000 and a team-record 13 wins with the Ravens in 2006.

A McNair-led victory was often a direct result of his performance late in the game. Within a contest’s closing minutes, McNair was one of the league’s best. Among his signature performances with the Titans were his off-the-bench victory in Pittsburgh in 2000 (9/24), the team’s improbable 2002 overtime defeat of the Giants at the Meadowlands (12/1) and a last-second win at Houston in 2003 (12/21). In all, he led 19 drives during his Titans career in which the team tied the game or took the lead with a score either inside the final two minutes of regulation or in overtime. There were 21 occasions, including three playoff contests, he rallied the Titans to victory from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie. The three aforementioned cases had another commonality: Due to various injuries, McNair was listed as questionable to play in the games.

McNair’s Toughness

Described by head coach Jeff Fisher as the "toughest player I have ever coached," McNair’s tenure has been one marked by grit and a seemingly impenetrable tolerance for pain. Despite an inordinate number of injuries, only Brett Favre and Peyton Manning started more NFL games than McNair from the time he became a full-time starter in 1997 through the end of the 2006 season (160 by Favre and Manning; 141 by McNair). In February 2004, USA Today ranked McNair number three in their list of "The 10 Toughest Athletes in Sports," behind only Favre and the NBA’s Allen Iverson.

McNair missed just five games after undergoing disc surgery in 1999 and was voted by his teammates as the Ed Block Courage Award winner. In 2000, he played in every game despite suffering a severely bruised sternum in Week 2 and subsequently earned his first Pro Bowl berth. The following offseason, doctors needed 15 gallons of water to flush out a right shoulder infection that caused a month full of pain "like no other," as he described it to a reporter for The Tennessean. He overcame more right shoulder difficulties in 2001 to complete a 3,000-yard season despite at times not being able to reach his left shoulder with his right hand. In December 2002, three separate injuries – turf toe, strained ribs and a sore back – prevented him from participating in any practice during the month, yet he led the team to a perfect 5-0 record and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month. He garnered even more honors in 2003 after fighting right calf and left ankle injuries in the final six weeks of the regular season and in the playoffs. In February 2004, he underwent surgery to remove a cracked bone spur in his left ankle that hampered him since December 2003.

His body’s limits were tested again during the 2004 season. A blow to the sternum September 26 against Jacksonville re-aggravated an injury he suffered in the second game of the 2000 season. It would plague him the rest of the season and cause him to miss a total of eight starts, including the final five games. On December 28, doctors took bone from his right hip and inserted it into his sternum to fill in an area that contained cartilage instead of bone throughout the area, a rare, preexisting condition that proved to be the source of the quarterback’s discomfort during the year.

He started 14 games in 2005, his final season in Tennessee, as the team struggled with ramifications from the salary cap. Despite the team’s hardships, McNair was added to the Pro Bowl roster after completing 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,161 yards, 16 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.

The Close of an Illustrious Career

After being traded on June 8, 2006, McNair closed his career with two seasons in Baltimore. In 2006, his first season with the Ravens, he helped rewrite the club’s record books. He finished the season with a 63.0 completion percentage (295 of 468), the highest single-season completion percentage in franchise history. It was the seventh consecutive year McNair completed at least 60 percent of his passes, making him one of two quarterbacks in the NFL (Peyton Manning) to accomplish the feat. Also in 2006, his 468 attempts, 295 completions and 3,050 passing yards all ranked as the second-highest single-season marks in Ravens history. McNair also achieved the second-longest single-season streak in team history of consecutive passes without an interception (162) and fired the longest pass in team history on a career-long 87-yard touchdown strike to Mark Clayton (Dec. 10 at Kansas City). His 2006 season resulted in the fourth Pro Bowl berth of his career (2000, 2003 and 2005).

In his final NFL season, McNair started six games for the Ravens and passed for 1,113 yards while being limited with groin, shoulder and back ailments.

A native of rural Mount Olive, Miss., McNair was the first quarterback drafted and the third overall player selected in the 1995 NFL Draft following an astonishing career at Alcorn State University. There he became the first player in collegiate history to accumulate 16,000 yards (16,823) of total offense, along the way setting five NCAA records and an additional 31 Division I-AA records. He finished third in the 1994 Heisman Trophy race behind Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam and Penn State’s Ki-Jana Carter.

TITANS TIDBITS:

• McNair developed a close friendship with quarterback Vince Young long before Young was drafted by the Titans in 2006. Young was introduced to McNair several years prior to his entry to the NFL by an uncle who played basketball at Alcorn State at the same time McNair attended the school. McNair invited Young to his football camp, where the future Texas Longhorns star became a regular and now even helps coach the campers. The two speak on a regular basis.

• Before every game, both at home and on the road, McNair had a pre-game ritual that consisted of finding a quiet nook near the locker room and taking a nap until pre-game warm-ups begin.

• On McNair’s left arm was a tattoo of the Greek letter omega with a lightening bolt through it. Under the symbol reads "Omega Man," referring to the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He also made reference to his fraternity with a symbolic arm gesture after every touchdown pass.

• He built a collection of rare swords, his favorite being a sword used by The Rock in the movie "The Scorpion King."

• McNair watched "The Price Is Right" nearly every day in the team’s training room. His other favorites included “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

• In the months following his 2003 MVP season, McNair awarded his offensive linemen with 42-inch plasma televisions and Cartier watches.

• He spent most of his time during the offseason on his 643-acre ranch in Mount Olive, where he owns 200 head of cattle and 20 horses.

• McNair was a close friend of Brett Favre, who lives in nearby Hattiesburg, Miss. The two shared the same agent, Bus Cook, and spent time fishing together in the offseason.

• After graduating high school, McNair was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 35th round (916th overall) of the Major League Baseball Draft.

• His older brother, Fred, enjoyed a 10-year career in the Arena Football League. Fred became the eighth-most prolific passer in the league’s history, playing with Albany, Florida, Carolina and Buffalo.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

2007 (6/6 – Baltimore): In his final NFL season, played in six games with six starts and completed 133 of 205 passes for 1,113 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions for a 73.9 passer rating.

• Against Arizona (9/23), completed 20 of 27 passes for 198 yards with one touchdown for a 106.7 passer rating.

• At Cleveland (9/30), connected on 34 of 53 passes for 307 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

2006 (16/16, 1/1 – Baltimore): Invited to his fourth Pro Bowl, but could not play due to injury. Started all 16 games in his first season as a Raven, re-writing the franchise record books en route to becoming the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30,000 yards and rush for 3,500 yards (Hall of Famers Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young). McNair finished the season with a 63.0 completion percentage (295 of 468), the highest single-season completion percentage in franchise history. That marked the seventh consecutive year McNair has completed at least 60 percent of his passes, making him one of two quarterbacks (Peyton Manning) with a 60 percent-plus completion mark each season since 2000 (min. eight games per season). His 468 attempts, 295 completions and 3,050 passing yards all rank as the second-most single-season marks in team history. He also posted the second-longest single-season streak in team history, attempting 162 consecutive passes without an interception, and fired the longest pass in team history on a career-long 87-yard touchdown strike to Mark Clayton at KC (12/10). Started and completed a franchise single-game playoff record 62 percent of his passes (18 of 29) for 173 yards and rushed once for six yards in the Divisional Playoff game vs. Ind. (1/13/07).

• At New Orleans (10/29), posted a season-high 121.5 passer rating, completing 73.9 percent of his passes (17 of 23) for 159 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, while passing for 12 first downs. Also rushed five times for 23 yards (three good for first downs) and a touchdown, becoming just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to rush for 3,500 yards.

• At Tennessee (11/12), continued a torrid pace, completing over 61 percent of his passes for the third consecutive week, going 29-of-47 (61.7 percent) for a season-high 373 yards in the 27-26 victory. Also threw for a season high three touchdowns, posting a 90.1 passer rating (third consecutive week with 90+ passer rating) in leading the Ravens back from the biggest deficit in franchise history (19 points) against the Titans.

• At Kansas City (12/10), posted a 122.7 passer rating (best as a Raven) going 21-of-27 (77.7 percent) for 283 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions in the 20-10 victory. His 283 passing yards included a career-long 87-yard touchdown strike to Mark Clayton in the third quarter. His 77.7 completion percentage at KC was his highest mark since he posted a 93.8% (15 of 16 passes) at Pittsburgh (9/28/03).

2005 (14/14 – Tennessee): In his 11th and final season with the Titans, McNair returned from a sternum injury in 2004 and started 14 games. McNair was inactive at Arizona (10/23) with back spasms and missed the last game of the season at Jacksonville (1/1) with a strained pectoral muscle. McNair completed 292 of 476 passes for 3,161 yards (61.3%) with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions (82.4 rating). McNair also reached a couple of career milestones this season. He became the 49th player in NFL history and the second player in franchise history to surpass 25,000 passing yards during his career. McNair moved past John Elway for fourth place in NFL history in rushing yards by a quarterback. Against Jacksonville (11/20), McNair became the third player in franchise history to complete 150 career touchdown passes, joining Warren Moon and George Blanda.

• At Houston (10/9), completed 22 of 31 passes for 220 yards (long of 41) with two touchdowns (112.3 rating) in a 34-20 win. Also rushed one time for one yard and a touchdown. Became the 49th player in NFL history and the seventh active player to reach 25,000 passing yards on a 41-yard pass to Drew Bennett in the third quarter. Also became the only player in team history besides Warren Moon to reach the 25,000-yard mark.

• Against Oakland (10/30), completed 26 of 40 passes for 229 yards (long of 31) with one touchdown (88.4 rating) in a 34-25 loss. Also rushed for a season-high 41 yards (long of 19) on five carries.

• Against Jacksonville (11/20), completed 20 of 30 passes for 208 yards (long of 21) to seven different receivers with one interception and two touchdowns (94.9 rating) in a 31-28 loss…also rushed one time for two yards. Connected with Chris Brown for a 15-yard score in the second quarter giving the Titans a 7-0 lead and became the third player in franchise history to pass for 150 touchdowns (Warren Moon and George Blanda)…in the fourth quarter capped off a seven play, 1:42 drive, for his second touchdown pass of the game on an eight-yard strike to Roydell Williams, pulling the Titans within 31-28.

• Against San Francisco (11/27), completed 23 of 41 passes for 343 yards (long of 57) to nine different receivers with one interception and three touchdowns (97.9 rating) in a 33-22 win. McNair’s three touchdowns passes in the third quarter marks the first time he has thrown three TD’s in a quarter during his career. His three-touchdown performance marks the 14th three-touchdown game of his career. McNair posted his 10th career 300-yard passing game, including one in the playoffs and the 343 passing yards is the most yards since throwing for 421 yards against Houston (10/12/03).

2004 (8/8 – Tennessee): Played and started in eight games, missing eight contests with an unusual sternum injury (declared inactive 10/3 at San Diego, 10/31 against Cincinnati, 12/5 at Indianapolis, 12/13 against Kansas City, 12/25 against Denver and 1/2 against Detroit; was active but did not play 11/14 against Chicago and 12/19 at Oakland). Became franchise’s all-time leader in wins by starting quarterback, finishing his 10th season with 72 wins, which surpassed Warren Moon’s previous franchise record of 70 wins. Accumulated season passing totals of 129 completions, 1,343 yards and eight touchdowns on 215 attempts (60.0%) with nine interceptions. Added 128 yards and one touchdown on 23 rushing attempts and also scored a two-point conversion (11/21 at Jacksonville).

• Notched 70th career win in season opener at Miami (9/11), completing nine of 14 passes for 73 yards and one touchdown (101.2 rating). Tied career low of 14 passing attempts for start in which he played entire game (at Miami, 9/7/97).

• Against Jacksonville (9/26), aggravated sternum for the first time since second game of 2000 season. Irritated sternum again and left contest early at Minnesota (10/24).

• At Green Bay (10/11), turned in vintage Monday Night Football performance, completing 15 of 26 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns in 48-27 win. Recorded 71st career win as starting quarterback, surpassing Warren Moon (70) for first place in franchise history. Team’s 48 points set Lambeau Field record for visiting team.

• At Jacksonville (11/21), rallied team from late 15-10 fourth quarter deficit to 18-15 win. Completed 18 of 30 passes for 209 yards and one touchdown. On game-winning drive, completed three of five passes for 55 yards, including 21-yard completion to Erron Kinney on fourth-and-one. After Antowain Smith’s touchdown that provided 16-15 margin with 3:31 left to play, scored on two-point conversion to give team three-point cushion. Game was 20th of career in which he led team to victory after facing fourth quarter deficit or tie.

• At Houston (11/28), completed touchdown passes of 12 and 11 yards to Erron Kinney and four yards to Derrick Mason, all in first half.

• Underwent surgery on December 28. Doctors took bone from right hip and grafted it into his sternum to fill in small area that previously contained cartilage instead of bone.

2003 (14/14, 2/2 – Tennessee): Named Associated Press co-MVP (Peyton Manning) and Pro Bowl starter after leading the league with a 100.4 rating – the best single-season rating in team history. Also was named Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, SI All-Pro, second team AP All-Pro, Football Digest second team All-Pro and captain of Howie Long’s Tough Guy Team. Completed 250 of 400 pass attempts for 3,215 yards, 24 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. With a league-high 8.04 yards per pass attempt, became the first AFC quarterback since Jim Harbaugh (8.20) in 1995 to finish the season averaging more than eight yards per attempt. Led the AFC (second in NFL) with a 96.8 rating in the fourth quarter and led the league with a 117.7 rating on third down. With rushing totals of 38 carries for 138 yards and four touchdowns, was one of only two NFL quarterbacks (Brett Favre) to produce at least one touchdown in every game he played. Battled right calf and left ankle injuries to start 14 games, sitting out contests against Buffalo (12/14) and Tampa Bay (12/28).

• Against New Orleans (9/21), led team to 27-12 win with touchdown passes to Justin McCareins and Drew Bennett one week after dislocating his right fourth finger at Indianapolis (9/14). Surpassed 20,000 yards passing for career, becoming youngest of five players in NFL history to pass for 20,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards.

• At Pittsburgh (9/28), completed 15 of 16 passes for 161 yards (long of 42) and three touchdowns to set new career highs in completion percentage (93.8) and passer rating (148.2) as a starter. Completed his final 11 attempts of game.

• At New England (10/5), passed for 360 yards and rushed for two touchdowns in a 38-30 loss.

• Set new career high with 421 passing yards and completed touchdown passes of 32, 46 and 50 yards to Derrick Mason against Houston (10/12). Passer rating of 146.8 was third best of career. Game was fifth time since 1970 that NFL quarterback passed for 400 yards with 18 or fewer completions. Third career game with perfect passer rating (158.3) at halftime, including 12 consecutive completions in first half. Named FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week by NFL.com.

• At Carolina (10/19), led team to 37-17 win over previously unbeaten Panthers, passing for 190 yards and one touchdown while rushing for another score.

• Named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October after a four-game stretch in which he completed 74 of 121 passes for 1,158 yards and five touchdowns to go along with three rushing touchdowns.

• Left game at Atlanta (11/23) in second quarter due to strained right calf. Prior to injury, completed touchdown passes of six and five yards to Frank Wycheck to start 21-point comeback effort.

• Had 43-game streak of consecutive starts broken against Buffalo (12/14) due to left ankle sprain and right calf strain.

• Led team to last minute 27-24 win at Houston (12/21), completing 17 of 36 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. Trailing 24-20 with 1:42 remaining, led team on eight-play, 75-yard drive, culminating with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Drew Bennett on fourth down with 0:17 remaining. In second quarter, completed the second-longest pass of career, a 73-yard bomb to Justin McCareins.

• In Wild Card Playoff victory at Baltimore (1/3/04), led team on eight-play, 35-yard drive that culminated with Gary Anderson’s game-winning field goal with 29 seconds remaining in game. Drive was 18th of career (third in playoffs) in which he led team to winning or tying score inside game’s final two minutes or in overtime.

2002 (16/16, 2/2 – Tennessee): Established career bests in completions (301), passing yards (3,387) and touchdowns (22) on 492 attempts (tied career high) as he led Tennessee to the AFC South Division title. Started every game and led the team to 10 victories in its last 11 games. Finished third in MVP voting behind Rich Gannon and Brett Favre and was named All-Pro by Sports Illustrated’s Paul Zimmerman. In the final month of the season, McNair gained notoriety for leading the team to a perfect 5-0 December record without ever practicing during the stretch due to three separate injuries – turf toe, strained ribs and a sore back. Named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for his efforts. Directed three fourth-quarter comeback wins during the season, giving him 13 for his career. Six times during the season he accumulated a passer rating above 100, and his 84.0 season passer rating was the second best of his career as a full-time starter. Set a franchise record with 23 consecutive games in which he threw at least one touchdown pass (10/14/01-11/24/02).

• Completed passes to ten different receivers for first time in career in a 27-24 win against Philadelphia (9/8).

• Set career highs for completions (32) and yards passing (398) at Oakland (9/29).

• At Cincinnati (10/27), won AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading the team to its second 14-point comeback victory of the season. In the second half, completed nine-of-12 passes for 158 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

• Against Houston (11/10), surpassed Warren Moon to break a franchise record with 22 consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass. Broke record with 13-yard strike to Mason in the first quarter, which was also McNair’s 100th career touchdown pass. Extended streak to 23 games before going without a TD pass at Baltimore (11/24).

• In one of the defining games of his career, led the team to a 32-29 overtime win at the New York Giants (12/1). Did not practice during the week prior to the game due to a rib strain suffered the previous week and was listed as questionable up until kickoff. Completed passes to nine different receivers for the second consecutive week, with TD passes of six yards to Mason, 26 yards to Bennett and nine yards to Wycheck. Led two successful two-minute drives, one at the end of the first half (Bennett touchdown) and the second to tie the game with nine seconds remaining in regulation (Wycheck touchdown). Completed seven-of-11 passes for 70 yards during game-tying fourth-quarter drive. After Wycheck’s TD with nine seconds remaining in regulation, trailing 29-27, scored a two-point conversion on a quarterback draw. In overtime, completed three-of-four passes for 47 yards before Joe Nedney hit the game-winning field goal. It was McNair’s third fourth-quarter comeback of the season and the 13th of his career.

• Set a career high against Indianapolis (12/8) with an 82.6% completion percentage (19 of 23).

• Became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to record at least 19,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing at Jacksonville (12/22).

• Passed for 338 yards and two TDs in an AFC Divisional Playoff win against Pittsburgh (1/11/03). Had an eight-yard TD run on a quarterback draw, and six of his eight rushes resulted in first downs, five of which came on third down.

2001 (15/15 – Tennessee): Was ranked second in the AFC in passer rating (90.2), fourth in touchdowns (21) and completion percentage (61.3%), fifth in passing yards (3350) and first in yards gained per pass (7.77). Became the first franchise quarterback since Warren Moon (21) in 1993 to throw for at least 20 touchdowns in a season. Establishing a career best, threw at least one touchdown pass in 13 consecutive games to end the regular season. Reached another career mark with WR Kevin Dyson catching TD passes in four consecutive games. His 65.6% completion percentage and 102.9 quarterback rating ranked first among all NFL quarterbacks in the last 10 games. During the same time frame, recorded a touchdown-to-interception ratio better than three to one (17 TD’s; 5 int). Ranked second on the team and third among NFL quarterbacks with 414 rushing yards.

• At Detroit (10/21), recorded his second comeback in as many weeks, helping Tennessee to a 27-24 win. His 22-yard run in the final minute of play set up Joe Nedney’s field goal with four seconds remaining in regulation.

• Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week following his performance against Jacksonville (11/4), when he passed for two touchdowns, rushed for two scores and scored on a one-yard sneak with 44 seconds remaining in the game to provide a 28-24 win. Eight-of-ten rushing attempts resulted in first downs. Second time in his career that he both passed and rushed for two touchdowns and the third come-from-behind victory of the season (10th of career).

• Set a career high with a 147.7 passer rating at Cleveland (12/2), a contest he temporarily left when Browns LB Jamir Miller stepped on him, causing an elbow contusion. Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time of the season (third time of career).

• At Oakland (12/22), was questionable before the game with back spasms, but nevertheless started and led a 13-play, 74-yard drive, including two critical third-down passes to Derrick Mason (29 and 22 yards), to set up a game-winning field goal with under two minutes left to play.

2000 (16/15, 1/1 – Tennessee): Was named to the Pro Bowl to replace Brian Griese (shoulder surgery) but was sidelined for the game due to his own shoulder injury. During the season, matched then-career high with 15 touchdown passes. ranked second on the team in rushing (404 yards), ranked fourth in the AFC with a 92.6 passer rating on third down and led the team to an 8-2 record against teams in the AFC Central.

• In Week 2 against Kansas City (9/10), left the game in the third quarter after suffering a helmet-to-sternum hit. Although not expected to play the next game against Pittsburgh (9/24), was called upon in the game’s final moments after Neil O’Donnell was injured. Drove the team 55 yards in four plays, completing three passes for 55 yards, including an 18-yard TD to Erron Kinney to win the game. The following week against the New York Giants (10/1), threw for three TDs and led the team to four scoring drives of at least 80 yards (80, 98, 80, 80).

• Against Pittsburgh (11/5), directed second comeback victory of the season with a 10-play, 62-yard drive that culminated in a 29-yard field goal to win the game with four seconds left in regulation. On the drive with less than two minutes remaining, connected on a 17-yard completion to Derrick Mason on fourth-and-8. Following the game, was praised by his teammates for "angry halftime speech" that he characterized as "the first of my career."

1999 (11/11, 4/4 – Tennessee): Helped the Titans to an AFC Championship. He was the only player to earn Miller Lite NFL Player of the Week honors twice (St. Louis, 10/31; Jacksonville, 12/26) and just the seventh player ever to win the award twice in one season. Missed five games (9/19-10/17) following surgery on 9/19 to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back that caused him to miss three preseason games.

• Threw for career-high five touchdowns and 291 yards on 23 of 33 (69.7%) versus Jacksonville (12/26). Became the third quarterback in franchise history to pass for five or more touchdowns in a game, joining George Blanda (five times) and Warren Moon (three times). Was the only NFL QB in '99 to throw five touchdown passes and the first in the AFC since Moon (Seattle) in 1997, and it marked McNair’s sixth time in his college or pro career that he accomplished the feat. Touchdown passes went to five different receivers, including WR Isaac Byrd, who was on the receiving end of a season-long 65-yard TD.

• In the AFC Championship win at Jacksonville (1/23/00), threw for 112 yards and one touchdown (first career postseason touchdown pass) to WR Yancey Thigpen. Also rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, including a 51-yard scramble.

• In Super Bowl XXXIV against St. Louis (1/30/00), established a new Super Bowl record among quarterbacks with 64 rushing yards on eight carries, including the longest rush by a quarterback, 23 yards. Helped the team erase a 16-0 second-half deficit, falling one yard short of the end zone on the final play of a 23-16 loss. In one of the most thrilling plays in Super Bowl history, evaded several on-coming rushers and shed two others to find WR Kevin Dyson for 16-yard gain to put the Titans in position for one final play from the 10-yard line with six seconds remaining.

1998 16/16 – Tennessee): Became the youngest franchise QB and only the fourth overall to reach 3,000-yard passing mark. Led all NFL quarterbacks for a second consecutive season with 559 rushing yards and for the second consecutive season helped the team set a franchise mark for fewest interceptions in single season (10), throwing only five interceptions in the season’s final 11 games. Ranked fourth in the NFL in third-down completion percentage (62.3%) and led the team to nine scores in the last two minutes of the half or game, including two game-winning drives versus Pittsburgh (11/15) and at Jacksonville (12/13). In an ESPN fan poll, voted NFL’s most improved player.

• Recorded a 133.5 passer rating against Cincinnati (10/18), three touchdown passes at Pittsburgh (11/1) and Green Bay (12/20) and registered a career-high 95 rushing yards against Tampa Bay (11/8), including a career-long 71-yard scramble for a TD.

1997 (16/16 – Tennessee): His first full season as a starter, helped the team set franchise mark for fewest interceptions in a single season (13) while leading the team in rushing TDs (eight) and ranking second in rushing yards with 674, the third most in NFL history by QB at the time. His 6.7 yards-per-carry average led all NFL rushers.

• At Arizona (10/26), combined for four touchdowns for the first time in his career with TD runs of 35 and two yards and TD passes of 55 and 20 yards (both to Chris Sanders).

1996 (9/4 – Tennessee): Played in nine games with four starts and posted 1,197 yards by completing 88 of 143 passes with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Connected on a then career-long 83-yard touchdown strike to Chris Sanders for second score of game at the Jets (12/1/96). A week later, recorded his first 300-yard performance (308 yards) vs. Jacksonville (12/8/96).

1995 (4/2 – Tennessee): As a rookie, played in four games with two starts and completed 41 of 80 passes for 569 yards for three touchdowns and an interception. Saw his first NFL action on the Oilers' last two series of the fourth quarter at Cleveland (11/5) after beginning the game as a dressed-third quarterback. Saw first significant action of the season versus the Lions (12/10), replacing Chris Chandler (mononucleosis) at the start of the second half. First completion was a five-yarder to WR Haywood Jeffries, while first TD pass was a 39-yard strike to Sanders. Made his first NFL start versus the Jets (12/17), connecting on 13-of-27 for 198 yards and one TD (Jeffires).

COLLEGE:

• Regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in college football history, he became the only player in NCAA history to gain more than 16,000 yards (16,823) in total offense during his college career. Also set collegiate records by averaging 400.5 yards in total offense per game and 8.18 yards gained per pass play for his career. Set NCAA single-season record by averaging 527.18 yards of total offense per game as a senior.

• Owns every Alcorn State game, season and career passing and total offense record after posting career numbers of 928-of-1,673 (55.5 percent) for 14,496 yards in passing, with 119 TDs and 58 INTs. Became only third player in Div. I-AA history to throw for 100 TDs in career. Added 2,327 yards and 33 TDs on 375 rushing attempts (6.2 avg.).

• As a senior, was a unanimous All-America choice and earned First-Team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference honors for the fourth consecutive year. Won the Walter Payton Award (top Div. I-AA player), Eddie Robinson Trophy (top player in black college ranks) and finished third in the Heisman Trophy race, making him the first Div. I-AA player to rank in top five in voting for the award since Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley, 1985).

• Broke several NCAA, conference and school marks as a senior by completing 304-of-530 passes (57.4 percent) for 4,863 yards and 44 TDs. Set a Div. I-AA record with 649 yards of offense (491 pass, 156 rush) and added eight passing TDs in 54-28 win over Tenn.-Chattanooga. Then closed out his college career by setting Div. I-AA playoff records for pass attempts (82) and completions (52), while racking up 514 yards and three TDs versus Youngstown State.

• Became one of three Alcorn St. football players to have his jersey retired, joining Jack Spinks and McNair’s brother, Fred.

• Majored in physical education.

PERSONAL:

• Married to Mechelle (June 1997), the couple splits time in the offseason between Nashville and Mount Olive, Miss. Has four sons: Junior (born 1991), Steven (born 1994), Tyler (born 1998) and Trenton (born 2004).

• Named All-State and Super Prep All-American as a QB and DB for the Pirates of Mount Olive (Miss.) High School. Tied Pascagoula High DB Terrell Buckley's (Miami Dolphins) career state record of 30 interceptions, including 15 as a senior, and thus was recruited heavily by colleges as a DB.

• With his brother, Tim, designed and executed a "tight end throwback" on the final play of the game to win the state championship for Mount Olive as a junior.

• Also played basketball and baseball in high school.

• Honored by Alcorn State declaring Jan. 30, 2000, "Steve McNair Day" after he led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV.

• Since 2001, has hosted annual Steve McNair Golf Classic in Gulfport, Miss. and Nashville to benefit the Steve McNair Foundation, which provides financial assistance to Boys & Girls Clubs in Mississippi and Tennessee and grants scholarships for McNair’s football camps in Nashville and Hattiesburg, Miss.

• Named Nashville Sports Council’s Sports Person of the Year for 2001, 2002 and 2003.

• Named to Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in April 2004.

• In May 2004, presented a $30,000 check to the Boys & Girls Club of Covington County, Miss.

• Presented $30,000 in total checks to five Middle Tennessee charities in May 2005 through his foundation.

• Gave away 280 turkeys during Thanksgiving to representatives from United Way’s 14 Family Resource Centers in on behalf of his foundation.

• Steve teamed with Castle Toyota, and was joined by Kyle Boller, to distribute gifts to underprivileged children in the Baltimore area for the Christmas holiday in Dec. 2006

• He also participated in the Ravens annual ACT Auction Party for players with charitable foundations on 12/5/06 and took part in the Ray Lewis and Mark Clayton Thanksgiving meal distribution for needy families in Baltimore in Nov. 2006.

• Hosts Steve McNair Football Camps in Nashville and Hattiesburg, Miss., every summer.

• Born Steve LaTreal McNair on Feb. 14, 1973, in Mount Olive, Miss.

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