Who were McNair’s go-to guys?

Steve McNair was part of a productive offense for much of his career with the Oilers/Titans but not one that would be categorized up there with the “Air Coryell” or Bill Walsh prototypes. And McNair certainly wasn’t surrounded by the kind of Hall of Fame talent that other quarterbacks such as Troy Aikman or Terry Bradshaw enjoyed.

In fact, the guys who leap to mind when I think of McNair’s favorite targets are WR Derrick Mason and TE Frank Wycheck. And sure enough, those are the guys who did, by far, most of the work with McNair.

I figured we’d take a look at the guys who caught the most passes and touchdown passes from McNair and produced the most receiving yards on the other end of his throws. Mason and Wycheck are at the top of every category (all thanks to researcher Matt Pomeroy for helping me get these stats to you guys).

OK, here it goes:

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Most Career Receptions from Steve McNair:

Player Receptions
Derrick Mason 462
Frank Wycheck 368
Eddie George 210
Drew Bennett 168
Erron Kinney 146
Kevin Dyson 141
Chris Sanders 101
Willie Davis 86
Mark Clayton 77
Todd Heap 76

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Most Career Receiving Yards from Steve McNair:

Player Receiving yards
Derrick Mason 5,937
Frank Wycheck 3,804
Drew Bennett 2,274
Chris Sanders 1,879
Kevin Dyson 1,834
Eddie George 1,699
Erron Kinney 1,425
Willie Davis 1,162
Justin McCareins 976
Mark Clayton 929

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Most Career Receiving Touchdowns from Steve McNair:

Player Touchdowns
Derrick Mason 32
Frank Wycheck 21
Kevin Dyson 16
Drew Bennett 11
Willie Davis 8
Eddie George 8
Erron Kinney 8
Chris Sanders 7
Justin McCareins 7
Yancey Thigpen 5
Todd Heap 5

So it’s pretty much what you’d think.

Mason and Wycheck were excellent players (and Mason could force himself into a Hall of Fame discussion with a few more productive seasons), but this isn’t the kind of Big Three that you would see a guy like Peyton Manning associated with (another reason I think John Elway also is overlooked sometimes — his list wouldn’t be filled with Jerry Rice or Marvin Harrison or Michael Irvin, either).

Mason, who also played with McNair in Baltimore, will speak at services for the late quarterback this week, and Wycheck, who has been a radio analyst for the Titans since retiring after the 2003 season, remained close with McNair after their playing time together ended.

– Jason La Canfora

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