Ravens react to Steve McNair’s death

Former Ravens quarterback Steve McNair suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head and was found dead July 4, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The body of a woman also was found inside the apartment. Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said police do not yet know the circumstances of the shootings.

“I don’t have any answers for you now as to what’s happened, who’s responsible,” he told Nashville reporters.

McNair, who played 13 years in the NFL, most of which were in Tennessee, finished his career as a Baltimore Raven, leading them to a 13-3 record in 2006.

Derrick Mason, McNair’s teammate in both Tennessee and Baltimore was shocked to hear about his friends death. “Steve was such a happy person. I even called him ‘Smile.’ He was always smiling and was always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it,” said Mason. “I’ve known him for 13 years, and he was the most selfless, happiest and friendliest person I have known.”

Derrick went on to say about McNair that, “On the field, there isn’t a player that was as tough as him, especially at the quarterback position. What I have seen him play through on the field, and what he dealt with during the week to get ready for a game, I have never known a better teammate.”

The quarterback’s unexpected death also affected Samari Rolle, another one of McNair’s teammates in Tennessee and Baltimore. “Steve was the ultimate man, first of all. I played with Steve every year of my career, except for two, and got to know his family during that time,” said Rolle.

“If you were going to draw a football player, the physical part, the mental part, everything about being a professional, he is your guy. I can’t even wrap my arms around it. It is a sad, sad day. The world lost a great man today.”

Ozzie Newsome, one of the men responsible for bringing McNair to Baltimore also reacted to the former MVP’s death. “This is so, so sad. We immediately think of his family, his boys. They are all in our thoughts and prayers. What we admired most about Steve when we played against him was his competitive spirit, and we were lucky enough to have that with us for two years,” said Newsome.

“He is one of the best players in the NFL over the last 20 years. He was a great player, one of the toughest of competitors, and a tremendous teammate, who was a leader on the field and in the locker room, especially to the young players.”