What they’re saying about Mike Alstott

Source: St.Pete Times
What they're saying

"I always liked playing with Mike. We maintained a really good relationship over the years. We always tried to be professional. When he got an opportunity, he tried to make the most out of it. And when I got an opportunity, I tried to make the most of it." Former teammate Warrick Dunn

"Mike is a key component of the Buccaneers. He has been and will be. He's still part of this team. ... It's quite emotional because the man loves football - period. He loves football." Bucs general manager Bruce Allen

"A lot of these (players) are really tough guys. But with Mike, you can see that and people really appreciate it. He was a big part of our success because of the way he closed out games. Teams knew it. They knew if it was going into the third or fourth quarter, they were in deep trouble."Former Bucs general manager Rich McKay

"Just as a player, he's done it all. He's gone to Pro Bowls, won a Super Bowl and got to start and finish his career in one city. For a guy to be a fullback and do what he's done, what else is there to prove?" Former Bucs tight end Dave Moore, Alstott's closest teammate

"Mike is one of the guys I looked up to when I was young. I used to watch him at Purdue. He's a great guy, and his work ethic is just unrivaled. And I've never seen anyone who was so loved by a group of fans. At Florida, I mean, we had Danny Wuerffel and they loved him. But that was nothing like Mike and the fans." Bucs running back Earnest Graham

"When I think about Mike, I can just see him out there catching that ball and fighting for yards. I wasn't around when he had some of his greatest runs, but there are so many memories. The guy is just no holds barred all the time. He's not going to be denied, and the fans love to see that." Bucs receiver Michael Clayton

"Congrats on a great career. It's going to be weird not seeing the choo-choo out there, but he can now run for mayor of Tampa." Close friend and ex-Devil Ray Toby Hall

"I grew up watching him, and I try to play like him - he didn't take too many plays off. He's a hard-nosed, head-first kind of guy. And he was one of the hardest workers in the game. A real go-getter. A true professional. And a first-ballot Hall of Famer in my opinion." Devil Rays DH Jonny Gomes, another close friend

"I've always enjoyed the way he played. He played it hard and he played it right. I had him on my fantasy team a couple years ago. He was an old-fashioned fullback, the kind of guy the NFL used to be built around. I wish him well, and hopefully we'll see him at more Rays games now." Rays manager Joe Maddon

"Ten years from now, his involvement here will continue to increase. People seeing his face will increase even more. When his playing days are over, whenever that might be, he'll have even more time on his hands. The foundation is something he wants to focus on." Rich Clements, executive director of the Mike Alstott Family Foundation, one of the fullback's many community endeavors.