George Reflects On McNair, Jersey Retirement

The Titans will retire Eddie George and Steve McNair's jersey numbers in September

Tiki and Tierney
June 13, 2019 - 6:55 pm
Eddie George Tennessee Titans

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The Tennessee Titans will retire Eddie George and Steve McNair’s jerseys during the team’s home-opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 15. George wore No. 27, while McNair wore No. 9. 

It is the first No. 27 and No. 9 ever retired in NFL history.

“I was really, really touched by it,” George said on Tiki & Tierney. “We’re already in the Ring of Honor, but to say that no one else is going to wear this uniform forever says a lot about what they thought about our contributions to the organization and what we’ve done.”

George and McNair played together from 1996-2003 and went 80-48 – third in the NFL only to the Packers (88-40) and Broncos (83-45) during that stretch. They reached the playoffs four times, won two divisional titles and played in Super Bowl XXXIV.

George joked that he’d like to get a few more carries so he can surpass Tiki Barber on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. Barber ranks 27th with 10,449 yards; George ranks 28th with 10,441.

Thus, George would need eight yards to tie Barber and nine to surpass him.

“Nine yards?” George asked. “This might take me the whole game.”

George also reflected on playing with McNair, who helped pave the way for black quarterbacks in the NFL. 

“He had to go through that,” George said, referring to stereotypes about black quarterbacks. “I witnessed his confidence be destroyed, and I witnessed it grow and blossom into the MVP in 2003. He was the heart and soul of our team.”

McNair, George said, taught his teammates the difference between being hurt and being injured.

“If you’re hurt, you can go out and play,” George said. “If you’re injured, that’s a totally different story. But he took it to a completely different level. He was one of the toughest guys I’ve ever been around, but one of the nicest guys that would give his shirt off his back for you.”

Click below to listen to George’s interview in its entirety.