Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio compiles some of his favorite Steve McNair plays from the limited batch of highlights on the web.
Steve McNair won’t get his due in the football media. No matter how you parse them — and my buddy Chase Stuart at FootballPerspective.com has done his due diligence on quarterbacks — McNair’s data doesn’t match the respect that his teammates and opponents had for his game. McNair was a unique player during his era.
He was as fast as Steve Young and a better after-contact runner. Despite his open-field skill, he had quiet feet in the pocket and would work under intense pressure if it meant hitting a big play downfield. Some of the plays attributed as unique to Russell Wilson were plays McNair generated years prior.
His deep accuracy, off-platform accuracy, and mobile accuracy were all great assets of his game. If the Titans weren’t as run-oriented early in McNair’s career, the quarterback’s stats might have matched his reputation among players and coaches.
Here are some of my favorite plays from McNair’s career that aren’t a part of typical highlight packages seen on television.
If he played in today’s era where quarterbacks benefit from less punishment and lighter coverage, I think McNair would be regarded as a superior combination of Russell Wilson and Cam Newton with a little bit of Aaron Rodgers in his game.