There isn't a moment in team history that compares to the news on July 4, 2009 that Steve McNair had died. The sordid details of his death were shocking, but it was the fact that this man who had been a leader for 13 seasons and should have been halfway through his life at most was gone.
The stats aren't what made McNair a memorable player for the team. He was a leader not by getting in his teammates' faces, but by example. So much was made of his willingness to play through pain that it almost became a joke.
He made one of the toughest transitions a quarterback can make in the league. He went from a scrambler to a pocket passer. Jeff Fisher was always a run-first coach, but under the tutelage of Mike Heimerdinger, McNair blossomed and shared the MVP award with Peyton Manning in 2007 despite missing two games.
The body finally gave in and on April 17, 2008, McNair announced his retirement to a stunned Baltimore Ravens locker room. If it weren't for that move, the Ravens might not have traded up for Joe Flacco in the 2008 draft.
He was dead less than 15 months later. McNair will be remembered for his charitable work with the Steve McNair foundation and his organization of supplies that were sent to victims of Hurricane Katrina. He used his celebrity to make lives better for the less fortunate.
McNair's death was a tragedy. His life was a gift to us all on and off the football field.
Read more NFL news on BleacherReport.com