I’m pretty sure that over the coming weeks, months and possibly even years we’re all going to learn a lot about the life of the late Steve McNair. Maybe more than any of us ever really wanted to know, but as the details of his murder become clearer it’s bound to happen.
Unfortunately there’s a possibility that during all this we may forget just how good of a football player the man was. There’s also a chance that his accomplishments on the football field may become exaggerated. So with that in mind the BALTIMORE SUN recently ran a poll with 24 NFL Hall of Fame voters to see whether or not McNair is bound for Canton once he’s eligible in 2013.
From the BALTIMORE SUN:
In The Baltimore Sun’s poll of selectors this week, the three-time Pro Bowl player would fail to gain the 80 percent approval needed for election.
Seventeen of the 24 voters who responded to The Sun - the committee has 44 members - said they did not consider McNair a Hall of Fame quarterback because he lacked elite career numbers.
“I didn’t consider McNair a Hall of Fame candidate before he died and don’t consider him one now,” said Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News. “His numbers are nowhere close to being Hall of Fame-worthy.”
In 13 seasons with the Ravens and Tennessee Titans, McNair finished with a pedestrian 60.1 completion percentage and an 82.8 passer rating (in comparison, Jeff Garcia’s career passer rating is 87.5).
Domowitch noted that McNair never had a season in which he threw for 25 or more touchdowns and never threw for more than 3,400 yards in a season.
McNair’s best season came in 2003 with the Tennessee Titans when he threw for 3,215 yards, 24 touchdowns, and had a passer rating of 100.4 as he split the NFL MVP award with Peyton Manning. The 100.4 passer rating was the highest of his career and, coincidentally or not, 2003 was also the first full season in McNair’s career that he failed to rush for at least 300 yards.
Personally I have to agree with most of the voters that were polled in this survey. McNair was a very good quarterback in the NFL, but I’m not sure you can call him great. When comparing his career to the numbers of the quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame, or even with his contemporaries like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, they just don’t match up.