What they're saying
"I've sustained another injury to my neck ... It's a situation where I'm on injured reserve for the rest of the year, and as far as what holds in the future ... there will be a further date announcement.''
-- Bucs fullback Mike Alstott
"I was ready to play football this year. I was ready to play football, and my mind was set.''
"'I can't' -- these aren't words in a professional athlete's vocabulary. When you have to make a decision and say words to that effect, it's emotional.''
“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.’’
-- Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon
"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
I remember when I came into this organization. I was just a little undrafted free agent and nobody knew if I would even make it. But he was the guy who took me under his wing and really looked out for me. A lot of (prominent) players wouldn’t do that. I’m just grateful to him for that. He’s special.
"Mike is the guy who showed me what to expect when I was a rookie and was nervous before games. We got real close when I first got here.''
-- Bucs wide receiver Michael Clayton
"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.''
"We have to pick up the slack. He's a key player on our football team.
-- Bucs general manager Bruce Allen
(Times photo: James Borchuck. Click to enlarge.)