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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - **The Titans announced today that they will wear a “9” helmet sticker this season to honor the late QB Steve McNair. The sticker will appear on the back of the helmet and will remain in place throughout the entire 2009 season, starting with this weekend’s Hall of Fame game against Buffalo.
“Through many internal discussions, we felt this was an appropriate way to honor Steve McNair and the contributions he made to our franchise,” said Titans owner K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr. “We have other things planned for our fans to honor him and the McNair family; and we take some solace in the fact that we were able to induct him into our Ring of Honor last season, while he was with us.”
Head coach Jeff Fisher said the Titans still are considering a couple more things to honor McNair in connection with his family. He declined to discuss specifics since nothing else has been decided.
"It's great timing to open the season with the ability to pay our respects to Steve and the family," Fisher said.
McNair retired in April 2008 after 13 NFL seasons, the last two with Baltimore.
Linebacker Keith Bulluck said he was glad to hear the news because he had planned to do something on his own if need be to remember McNair, a teammate for six seasons. A newspaper clipping of McNair holding up his MVP trophy is taped inside Bulluck's locker.
"It's very much well-deserved for the person Mac was in this community, who he was on this team, what he meant to this organization and the players that he's influenced big and small over the years," Bulluck said.
Vince Young, who was mentored by McNair and spoke at the quarterback's funeral, said the decal shows how much the organization loved McNair and how much he respected him personally.
"It's going to be big," Young said.
McNair, who was inducted into the Titans' Ring of Honor in October 2008, played 11 seasons (1995-05) for the Titans/Oilers after being selected with the third overall selection in the 1995 NFL Draft. During his career, he led the franchise to more wins (76) than any other quarterback in club history, earned three Pro Bowl selections and was named the NFL Co-MVP following the 2003 season. He became only the second player in franchise history to win NFL MVP honors, joining Earl Campbell (1979). He also became the only quarterback in club history to lead the Titans/Oilers to a Super Bowl (XXXIV) by capturing the AFC Championship in 1999.
McNair’s 27,141 passing yards in a Titans uniform 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). In 2002, he completed a string of 23 games in which he passed for at least one touchdown (10/14/01-11/17/02), breaking Warren Moon’s mark of 21 games.
McNair also brought the running dimension to the team, becoming one of only three players in NFL history (Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young) to pass for 30,000 yards and rush for 3,500 yards. He also ranks fifth in franchise history in rushing with 3,439 yards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report