No. 20, 27, 29, 32
|Date of birth:March 17, 1977|
|Place of birth: Orlando, Florida|
|NFL Draft: 2001 / Round: 7 / Pick: 233|
|Debuted in 2001 for the Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Last played in 2008 for the Denver Broncos|
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2008
Marlon Tarron McCree (born March 17, 1977 in Orlando, Florida) is a former American football safety. He was drafted by the Jaguars in the seventh round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He played college football at Kentucky.
McCree survived a tumultuous childhood in inner-city Orlando during the 1980s and 90s that saw him lose an older brother, Cameron, to leukemia. But with the guidance of family members, teachers and other mentors, McCree was able to excel at Atlantic High School in Port Orange, Florida, where he was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. A first-team, all-state member in his senior season, McCree was Atlantic's first Division 1-A signee.
McCree was a four-year letterman (1997–2000) at the University of Kentucky. A three-year starter, he arrived at Kentucky as a strong safety, but moved to linebacker midway through his redshirt freshman season. McCree's career totals included 219 tackles (46 for loss), 14.5 quarterback sacks, two interceptions, three caused fumbles and six fumble recoveries. He also led the Wildcats to two bowl appearances (1998 Outback Bowl, 1999 Music City Bowl). McCree graduated with a degree in finance.
2001 NFL Draft
McCree was drafted in the 7th round 233rd overall of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though unheralded, McCree immediately made an impact in training camp with Jacksonville, and assumed a starting role early in his rookie season.
|Wt||40 yd||20 ss||3-cone||Vert||BP||Wonderlic|
(* represents NFL Combine)
McCree received significant playing time during his first two seasons, playing in all but three games, and making six interceptions in 2002.
McCree was waived by the Jaguars in 2003 and was picked up by the Houston Texans. On December 21, 2003 he scored his first career touchdown, a 95-yard interception return off of the Tennessee Titans' Steve McNair.
McCree was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers prior to the 2005 NFL season, where he served as the starting free safety. McCree recorded three interceptions in the regular season, but truly made his mark in the first playoff game of his career.
On January 8, 2006, McCree played smothering defense in Carolina's first round game against the New York Giants. His second interception of the game of New York's Eli Manning preserved a 20-0 lead, and effectively put the Panthers ahead for good. Carolina won, 23-0.
"We were always overlooked. We don't know why that is," said McCree after the victory. "We've got the third best defense in the league. Sooner or later, we'll get the respect and recognition that we deserve."
San Diego Chargers
McCree's tenure with the Chargers was defined by suffocating defense, aggressive, game-changing hits, and a fierce determination to win.
During a January 14, 2007, playoff game against the New England Patriots, McCree had a critical fourth quarter interception with the Chargers leading, 21-13. However, while tackling McCree following the interception, Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown managed to strip the ball away from him. Reche Caldwell would recover for the Patriots. San Diego's defense was unable to stop New England on the drive that followed, and the Patriots scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion to tie the game at 21. The Patriots eventually won, 24-21.
“Anytime I get the ball I am going to try and score regardless," said McCree. "Troy Brown stripped it. He made a great play, and I was trying to make a big play. (In) hindsight I don't regret it because I would never try and just go down on the (ground). I want to score.”
The following season, almost a year to the day, McCree would exact a measure of redemption. On January 13, 2008, late in the fourth quarter of a playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning was driving Indy toward what appeared to be a go-ahead score. But on third down and five, McCree delivered a vicious hit on Indianapolis wide receiver Reggie Wayne, knocking Wayne out of the game and forcing the Colts to use their final timeout.
"As an emphatic hush fell over the crowd," wrote Jim McCabe in the Boston Globe, "the reality of the situation sank in, thanks to McCree's superb play. It was now fourth and 5 and Manning was without any timeouts or either of his prized wideouts, Marvin Harrison having left the game with a sore knee and Wayne having been shown the sideline courtesy of McCree's hit...When on the following snap Manning delivered his third straight incompletion, McCree could celebrate along with his teammates. This time, he had performed with textbook precision with a playoff game hinging on his split-second thinking."
McCree and the Chargers would advance to the AFC Championship game, where they would lose a rematch with the New England Patriots.
On February 28, 2008 the Chargers released McCree to allow more playing time for the younger safety, Eric Weddle.
On March 8, 2008, McCree was signed by the Denver Broncos.
Second Stint with Jaguars
McCree re-signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars on June 3, 2009. He was released by the Jaguars on September 5, 2009.
On January 17, 2012, McCree reached a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars to return to the team as an assistant coach.