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Titans to retire numbers of George, McNair

The Associated PressNASHVILLE (AP) — Nobody with the Titans will ever wear Eddie George’s No. 27 nor the No. 9 of the late Steve McNair again, players who helped the franchise through its difficult relocation from Houston to Tennessee to its lone Super Bowl berth.

Controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk announced Wednesday that the franchise will retire both numbers Sept. 15 at their home opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

“This is a big moment for me personally because I love these guys, and I know my dad loved these guys and he will be so happy and proud that we were honoring them today,” Strunk said of her late father, Bud Adams, who founded the franchise in 1960.

The Titans say this will be the first time an NFL team has retired either a No. 9 or 27, giving the league 153 numbers that have been retired. McNair and George will join six other former Titans and Oilers whose numbers have been retired including Warren Moon, Earl Campbell, Mike Munchak, Bruce Matthews and Elvin Bethea — all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

George called having his number retired a “huge honor” considering that usually requires being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I couldn’t imagine having a day like this where my jersey [is] retired by myself,” George said. “It has to be with Steve ... It’s totally appropriate to have us go in together.”

George, who played eight seasons with this team and made four Pro Bowls, remains both the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 10,009 yards and all-time scrimmage yards leader with 12,153.

McNair, drafted a year before in 1995 at No. 3 overall, played 11 of 13 seasons here and remains the club’s second all-time leading passer (27,141 yards) behind only Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon (33,685). McNair was killed July 4, 2009.

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