The first round of our tournament features a matchup of old vs. new, and offense vs. defense. Our 1 seed, Steve McNair, will face off against our 8 seed, Alterraun Verner. While it is an interesting matchup, Verner will be facing a very tough challenge. Both were fan favorites during their time in Nasvhille, but McNair is an entirely different animal among the fanbase, and for great reason:
(1) Steve McNair: It seems that Air McNair is the favorite to win the entire tournament. Clearly, his number 1 overall seed is well deserved. He led the Titans to their first Super Bowl, showed his "country strong" abilities in one of the final plays to get the team down into scoring range, along with countless other times throughout his career. He played through numerous devastating injuries, led several fantastic comebacks, and was an overall delight in the community--exactly what teams fantasize about when searching for a "face of the franchise." The greatest era of Titan football was all on McNair's shoulders. If you made a list of the top 10 moments in Titans history, McNair would likely be involved in about 75 percent of the plays, in some form or fashion. If that isn't enough, he is the only Tennessee Titan to ever win MVP. He has an extraordinarily strong case.
(8) Alterraun Verner: "ATV" had a short, yet rock solid career as a Titan. He started everything off with a bang, right off the bat. The Titans secondary was very poor the year before he was drafted--Nick Harper was old and declining, Jason McCourty was not yet proven, and Ryan Mouton was, well, Ryan Mouton. The Titans desperately needed help in the secondary. Some speculated that they may draft a cornerback in the first round. However, they waited until round 4, where they got fantastic value with Verner. As OTA's and camp started, he was all anyone could talk about. Consistently making plays each practice, he continued to move up the depth chart quickly, and got on the field much early than anyone expected. His play making abilities translated on Sundays, from his first game, until his final game as a Titan. He also is a very down to earth guy, and is another football player that you'd want to represent your team. It is a shame that he could not continue his career in Nashville. His play has declined, and the Titans secondary has not been the same since. One can only wonder what things would be like now if Ruston Webster had re-signed him.
My vote: I think just about everyone will agree that Number 9 is the pick here, hands down. While Verner had a very underrated career, it just cannot matchup to Steve McNair's. As I said, he is the overall favorite. He had an amazing career, and when you think classic Titans, you think Steve McNair. This one is an easy choice for me.
Another copy of the bracket: