Canton Calling?

David Boclair

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will consider whether to make room for some of the biggest names in Tennessee Titans history alongside the greatest players in the history of the sport.

Quarterback Steve McNair, running back Eddie George and wide receiver Derrick Mason are among the 130 modern-era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021. All three have been on the ballot previously but have not come close to inclusion.

In all, eight players who spent at least part of their careers with the franchise (six of the seven played in Tennessee) are among this year’s candidates.

The rundown:

• Eddie George, RB: A first-round pick in 1995, he rushed for 10,441 career yards, which ranks 28th in NFL history and includes a franchise-record 10,009 with the Oilers/Titans. He ran for better than 1,200 yards in each of his first five seasons and topped 1,000 yards rushing in seven of his first eight. He started all 128 games he played for the Titans and 136 of 141 in his career. He was the 1996 AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowler.

Derrick Mason, WR: He set a then-NFL record with 2,690 all-purpose yards in 2000. A fourth-round pick in 1997, his 414 receptions from 1999-04 are the franchise-high during Titans era (1999-present) and his 471 receptions with the Baltimore Ravens (2005-10) are a franchise record. He topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of his final four years with Tennessee (2001-04) and was a two-time Pro Bowler (2000, 2003) and a first-team All-Pro return man in 2000.

Steve McNair, QB: The NFL’s 2003 co-MVP, he was 91-62 as a starter with Tennessee and Baltimore and led the Titans to their only Super Bowl appearance (Super Bowl XXXIV), where he set a record for rushing yards by a quarterback (64 on eight carries). He was a three-time Pro Bowler and his 3,590 career rushing yards rank sixth among all quarterbacks since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

Lorenzo Neal, FB: He played for seven teams in a 16-year NFL career. In his two years with Tennessee, the Titans went 26-6 and made the playoffs both times. From 1994 to 2006 he did not miss a game. He was a two-time All-Pro (2006-07), a four-time Pro Bowler and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Team of the 2000s.

• Gary Anderson, K: He is the NFL’s third-leading all-time scorer with 2,434 points, the last 211 of which came in two seasons with the Titans (2003-04). His career spanned 25 seasons with five organizations and he topped 100 points 14 times.

• Dave Krieg, quarterback: The first veteran quarterback signed to be Steve McNair’s backup, he played 17 seasons for five organizations before he joined the Oilers in 1997. He never started a game for Tennessee but was 98-77 as a starter and appeared in three Pro Bowls (1984, 1988, 1989).

• Mel Gray, KR/PR: He led the NFL in punt return average twice (1987, 1991) kickoff return average twice (1991, 1994) and kickoff return yards once (1991). He was a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro who scored six career touchdowns on kickoff returns and three on punt returns. He signed with the Houston Oilers in 1995 and came with the team to Tennessee in 1997, which was his final season.

Ray Childress, DT: The third overall pick in 1985, he played 11 seasons with the Houston Oilers followed by one with the Dallas Cowboys. He was a member of the 1985 All-Rookie team, a first-team All-Pro in 1992 and a five-time Pro Bowler. He tied an NFL record when he recovered three fumbles in a game, Oct. 30, 1988 against Washington.

Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.