Steve McNair's No. 9 and Eddie George's No. 27 will be retired in a ceremony during the Sept. 15 home opener against the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced Wednesday.
"Steve and Eddie will be forever linked as two of the driving forces for our team in the late 90s and early 2000s," Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. "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."
The numbers of the duo being retired together is apropos, as their time together (1996-2003) marked the zenith of the Tennessee franchise in its first years after the move from Houston in 1997. Together McNair and George helped the Titans earn four playoff appearances (1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003), two division titles (2000 and 2002), two AFC Championship games (1999 and 2002) and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV.
George, a first-round pick in 1996, is the Titans/Oilers record holder for career rushing yards with 10,009 in eight seasons with the team and is the organization's all-time scrimmage yards leader with 12,153. George is the only running back in NFL history to record 300 or more carries for eight consecutive seasons, according to the team. After one year in Dallas, George retired in 2004 with 10,441 rushing yards and 68 rushing touchdowns. George averaged 1,160 rushing yards per season during his nine-year NFL career -- only six backs who played six or more seasons averaged more yards per year for a career.
McNair, the No. 3 overall pick by Houston in 1995, made the No. 9 Titans jersey iconic with spectacular play, and affinity for leading epic game-winning drives. As a member of the Titans, he was credited with 20 game-winning drives in the regular season and postseason, second only behind Warren Moon (23). His most famous late-game drive, however, came one yard shy of winning Super Bowl XXXIV. McNair finished his career with 31,304 total passing yards, 27,141 of which came in 11 seasons with the Tennessee/Houston franchise.
McNair was killed in Nashville on July 4, 2009.
McNair and George will join Jim Norton (No.43), Elvin Bethea (No.65), Earl Campbell (No.34), Mike Munchak (No.63) Bruce Matthews (No.74) and Warren Moon (No.1) as the only players to have numbers retired by the Titans/Oilers franchise. McNair and George are the first two who played the majority of their careers in Tennessee.