Titans Retire Steve McNair's No. 9 and Eddie George's No. 27 Jerseys
Eddie George and Steve McNair. Steve McNair and Eddie George.
Think of the Tennessee Titans, and two of their all-time greats come to mind because of their success on the field, their toughness and grit – and the impact they’ve made in the city of Nashville and beyond.
The Tennessee Titans retired Quarterback Steve McNair’s No. 9 jersey and running back Eddie George’s No. 27 jersey in a ceremony during halftime of the Sept. 15 home opener.
“Steve and Eddie will be forever linked as two of the driving forces for our team in the late 90’s and early 2000’s,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said. “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 is what our fans will always remember. For that and all that they have done for our team, the number 9 and 27 will be retired with the all-time franchise greats.”
Celebrating 9 and 27
Fireball Flashbacks: Sept. 24, 2000 - Titans at Steelers
Sep 14, 2019
No one gave Steve McNair a chance to play in this one after he was knocked out of the previous game against Kansas City with a bruised sternum. McNair watched from the sideline in a baseball cap until Neil O'Donnell was knocked out with a concussion with just over two minutes left. But in typical McNair fashion, he stepped in. After a few warm-up tosses on the sideline, McNair entered the game and was 3-for-3 for 55 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Erron Kinney, which gave the Titans a 23-20 lead, and victory in the team's final game at Three Rivers Stadium.
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Sep 13, 2019
Bruise Brothers: How Fierce Rivals Eddie George and Ray Lewis Became Close Friends, and How Steve McNair's Death Created a Lifelong Bond
Sep 13, 2019
Thursday's Quick Hits: Eddie George Challenges Titans, and Fans; Plus, a Roster Move and the Injury Report
Sep 12, 2019
Five Former Titans Among Nominees for Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Sep 12, 2019
Titans to Celebrate Fans and the NFL's 100th Season this Week with 'Fantennial Weekend'
Sep 11, 2019
NFL 100: Former Titans QB Steve McNair
Sep 11, 2019
A first-round pick (3rd overall) by the Houston Oilers in the 1995 NFL Draft, Steve McNair led the Titans to the playoffs four times, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV, while passing for 27,141 yards and 156 TDs in 11 seasons with the franchise. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP, Mike Mu)
The OTP: Jeff Fisher on Coaching Steve McNair and Eddie George
Sep 10, 2019
He coached both Steve McNair and Eddie George for every play that they spent with the Tennessee Titans. No one knew 9 and 27 better than Jeff Fisher. On this special edition of The OTP, Fisher returns to Saint Thomas Sports Park for the first time since his departure nearly nine years ago. He shares the secrets to George’s success, why he believed so much in both George and McNair and how he kept McNair from quitting the game in September 2000.
NFL 100: Former Titans RB Eddie George
Sep 10, 2019
A first-round pick (14th overall) by the Houston Oilers in the 1996 NFL Draft, Eddie George became only the second NFL running back to rush for 10,000 yards, while never missing a start, as Tennessee's starter through 2003. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)
The OTP with Amy Adams Strunk and Eddie George
Jun 12, 2019
Tennessee Titans Controlling Owner Amy Adams Strunk announced on Wednesday the organization would retire the numbers 9 and 27, in honor of former Titans Steve McNair and Eddie George, during the 2019 home opener vs. the Colts. Strunk and George join Mike Keith and Amie Wells in studio on this edition of the OTP.
Hall of Famers Agree: Former Titans RB Eddie George Deserves More HOF Consideration
Jun 12, 2019
Warren Moon, the fourth leading passer in NFL history, played 10 years (1984-93) with the organization and holds the franchise records for passing yards (33,685) and touchdowns (196), while leading the Oilers to seven consecutive playoff appearances from 1987-93. Moon’s finest season came in 1990, throwing for 4,689 yards (363-for-584) and 33 touchdowns in only 15 games and becoming the third player in NFL history to produce consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons. He earned AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts and his third Pro Bowl berth. His jersey was retired in a halftime ceremony in Nashville on Oct. 1, 2006.
Steve McNair was the third overall draft pick in 1995 by the Houston Oilers, and he made the No.9 a special one during his career. McNair played from 1995-2005 with the Oilers/Titans. In 11 seasons with the Titans, McNair set team records and accumulated the most wins of any quarterback in Titans/Oilers history. McNair, who led Tennessee's famous drive that ended up a yard short of forcing overtime in Super Bowl XXXIV, also made a big impact in the Nashville community through the Steve McNair Foundation. He was selected as the 2005 Titans Walter Payton Award Winner, given to the team's Community Man of the Year. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, and he was co-MVP of the NFL with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 2003. McNair finished his career with 31,304 yards passing and 174 touchdowns.
A first-round pick by the Titans in 1996, Eddie George made the No. 27 legendary in Tennessee. George is the Titans/Oilers record holder for career rushing yards (10,009), ahead of Hall of Famer Earl Campbell (9,407). He finished his career with 10,441 yards. George is the only running back in NFL history to record 300 or more carries for eight consecutive seasons. He is the organization’s all-time scrimmage yards leader (12,153). During his playing days in Tennessee (1996-2003), George never missed a game – a span of 128 starts. He was a 1,000-yard rusher seven times, and a four-time Pro Bowler. George racked up 36 100-yard games, and the Titans recorded a 30-6 record in those games. George averaged 1,160 rushing yards per season during his nine-year NFL career. Among all players who have played six seasons, only six averaged more rushing yards per season: Barry Sanders (1,527), Jim Brown (1,368), Payton (1,287), Martin (1,282), LaDainian Tomlinson (1,244) and Emmitt Smith (1,224). George, Tomlinson and Eric Dickerson are the only three NFL running backs to rush for 1,200 or more yards in each of their first five NFL seasons.
Earl Campbell, the franchise’s second leading rusher and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was honored by having his number retired at ceremonies on Aug. 13, 1987. He set a single-season club record with a league-leading 1,450 yards his rookie season. Campbell followed that performance with 1,697 yards in 1979 and an astounding 1,934 yards in 1980. Both those totals led the NFL and the latter was second only to O.J. Simpson’s 2,003 yards in 1973. Campbell was selected to five Pro Bowls (1978-81, 1983) and retired as the NFL’s seventh all-time leading rusher (9,407). He ranks second in franchise history in career rushing yards (8,574) and attempts (1,979), first in touchdown runs (73) and first in most consecutive games with a rushing touchdown (5).
Jim Norton played nine seasons for the Oilers (1960-68) as a safety and as a punter, establishing team records at both positions. As a rookie from the University of Idaho, Norton was a member of the Oilers’ 1960 AFL Championship team. A four-time league all-star, he holds the club record for most interceptions in a career with 45. Also an accomplished punter, Norton was tops in club history with 519 career punts for a 42.3-yard career average and a long kick of 79 yards (11/22/64 vs. Kansas City).
Mike Munchak joined the Oilers as a first-round draft pick in 1982 out of Penn State. He was the first offensive lineman selected in the draft and the eighth overall selection. Munchak won the starting left guard position as a rookie and went on to play in 12 campaigns (1982-93) and 159 games (156 starts) for the Oilers. He is tied for third on the team’s all-time list for seasons played and ranks fifth in games played. Munchak became a fixture on an offensive line that helped the Oilers to seven consecutive playoff appearances (1987-93). One of the premier guards in the National Football League, Munchak was selected to NFL’s “Team of the Decade” for the 1980s and was chosen in 1989 to Oilers’ 30th Anniversary “Dream Team.” He ranks second in club annals with nine Pro Bowl selections, seven as a starter. Munchak announced his retirement on July 21, 1994, and on the same day, K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr,. announced that jersey No. 63 would be retired on “Mike Munchak Appreciation Day” on Nov. 6, 1994.
Elvin Bethea joined the Oilers in 1968 after an outstanding career at North Carolina A&T. He started at defensive end in the 1968 season opener and didn’t miss a game until breaking his arm in November 1977. That streak of 135 consecutive games played stands third in team history. An eight-time Pro Bowler (1970, 1972-76, 1978-80), Bethea ranks second for most seasons played (16, 1968-83), while his 210 games played (1968-83) also stands second behind Bruce Matthews. Bethea led the team in sacks six times, including a career-best mark of 17 in 1973. The Oilers honored him with an “Elvin Bethea Appreciation Night” on Aug. 4, 1983. He became the sixth player in franchise history to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 3, 2003.
Bruce Matthews played in more games (296) than any non-kicker in NFL history. Longevity and durability were his hallmark. And that, coupled with his unparalleled play, in which he tied a league record with 14 Pro Bowl selections (tied with Merlin Olsen) and earned All-Pro honors six times, made him one of the all-time greats. He rose to the challenges presented to him in playing every position on the offensive line during his NFL career (87 at center, 99 at left guard, 67 at right guard, 22 at right tackle, and 17 at left tackle). His number was retired during a halftime ceremony in Nashville on Dec. 8, 2002.