NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans announced they are retiring the numbers of running back Eddie George and quarterback Steve McNair. The jerseys will be retired in a ceremony before the Titans' home opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 15.
"This is a big moment for me personally, because I love these guys and I know my dad [Bud Adams] loved these guys. He would be so happy and proud that we are honoring them today," team owner Amy Adams Strunk said. "Together, Steve and Eddie led the Titans to new heights with 80 wins and four playoff seasons together, including an AFC championship and Super Bowl appearance in 1999. I am pleased to announce that no other Titan will ever wear No. 9 and No. 27 again."
McNair wore No. 9 and George wore No. 27. Both played for the Houston Oilers before the franchise relocated to Tennessee in 1997.
George was the 1996 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after the Oilers selected him with the No. 14 pick in the draft. He is the franchise's leading rusher, having gained 10,009 yards, and was selected to four Pro Bowls from 1997-2000. George retired after playing nine NFL seasons, the final one with Dallas in 2004.
"To have my jersey retired with my partner in crime Steve McNair means a lot. We were always linked at the hip and been through a lot together both on and off the football field," George said. "I couldn't imagine having a day like this with my jersey being retired without Steve's. It's totally appropriate to have us go in together. ... I want to thank the Titans nation and the fans with their support on the journey from Houston to Nashville. I can't wait for the 15th because it will be an exciting time."
McNair was selected by the Oilers with the No. 3 pick in the 1995 draft and is the second-leading passer in franchise history, behind Hall of Famer Warren Moon. McNair led the Titans to an AFC championship two years after taking over as the full-time starter.
McNair passed for 31,304 yards and rushed for 3,590 during his career; only two other players have thrown for more than 30,000 yards and rushed for over 3,500. He accumulated 174 touchdown passes over his 13-year career. McNair also is the first black quarterback to be named NFL MVP, having shared the honors with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 2003.
McNair was murdered in 2009, two years after playing his final season with the Baltimore Ravens.
Before the Titans retired Nos. 27 and 9, there were only 151 jerseys retired in the NFL. This is the first time in NFL history that these numbers have been retired.