"Steve was special and as tough and competitive of a guy that I have ever been around," said Jets head coach Rex ryan, who served as the Ravens' defensive coordinator during McNair's B-more tenure. "As soon as we got him in Baltimore, he gave our team instant confidence and I was fortunate to be around him for two seasons. As great of a player as he was, it was more of an honor to know him as a person. My heart and prayers go out to his family."
"I am in utter disbelief. Steve always came to work with a smile and a joy about him," said Jets LB Bart Scott, a teammate of McNair's with the Ravens. "I remember him as a dad that brought his kids to the facility and we all embraced them as our own. Not only will Steve’s family miss him, but the entire NFL family has lost a brother. His death was far too early and my thoughts and prayers are with his family."
I remember being at one of McNair's first starts in 1996. It was the game Neil O'Donnell got injured in pregame warmups. McNair made it yet another painful day to be a Jets fan in the Kotite Era.
He was one of my favorite players. You can't help but admire a guy with that much toughness. It seemed like he was always dealing with some painful injury. By the end of a season, there were times he couldn't even practice, but he played at a high level every Sunday. This was really just shellshocking news.