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13 May 2015

BUCCANEERS TO INDUCT WILLIAMS, ALSTOTT INTO RING OF HONOR

For the first time in the seven-year history of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor, the club will induct two of its legends in the same season. Former fullback Mike Alstott will be honored during the Buccaneers’ Oct. 4 home game against the Carolina Panthers, while former quarterback Doug Williams will be inducted on Dec. 6 when the Buccaneers battle the Atlanta Falcons.
 
The pair will join prior honorees Lee Roy Selmon, John McKay, Jimmie Giles, Paul Gruber, Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks.
 
“Today we celebrate two of the greatest Buccaneers in our team’s rich history,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer. “Doug Williams and Mike Alstott epitomize what it means to be a Buccaneer. They were winners on the field, but they left a lasting mark on our community and with our fan base long after their playing days were over.”
 
Williams joined the Buccaneers as the team’s first-round draft choice (No. 17 overall) in the 1978 NFL Draft out of Grambling State. He immediately took over the starting quarterback position of a team that had won two games combined in its first two NFL seasons. In his 10 starts as a rookie, Williams won four of them. In his second season, he engineered one of the most unforeseen success stories of the era when he led the Buccaneers to the 1979 NFC Central Division crown and a berth in the NFC Championship Game.
 
Williams also took the Buccaneers to a division title in 1981 and led his team to a record above .500 in three of his final four seasons (1979, 1981-82) as Tampa Bay’s quarterback. In comparison, from 1976-96, without Williams under center, the franchise did not register another winning season.
 
In that four-year stretch from 1979-82, Williams started all of the team’s 57 regular season games and three playoff contests. Among his peers during that span, Williams ranked seventh in passing yards (11,369), 10th in touchdown passes (66), and seventh in lowest interception rate (3.8 percent). He also topped all quarterbacks during that period with 856 rushing yards and tied for the most rushing touchdowns with 12.
 
Williams later played in the USFL (1984-85) before joining the Washington Redskins in 1987, where he won Super Bowl XXII Most Valuable Player honors after leading them to a victory over Denver. Following his playing career, Williams entered the coaching profession and went on to serve two stints as head coach of his college alma mater (1998-2003, 2011-2013), winning four conference championships. Williams has also served as a personnel executive in NFL front offices, first with the Buccaneers from 2004-2010 and with the Redskins since 2014.
 
Alstott, a six-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time Associated Press All-Pro honoree, is the Buccaneers’ all-time leader in touchdowns (71) and rushing touchdowns (58). He ranks second in franchise annals with 5,088 rushing yards, second in yards from scrimmage (7,372), fourth in receptions (305), and seventh in games played (158).
 
A second-round selection (No. 35 overall) out of Purdue in 1996, Alstott played his entire 11-year career with Tampa Bay, earning his first of six consecutive Pro Bowl selections following his second season in 1997.
 
In addition to the accolades he earned during the regular season, Alstott also holds a decorated place in Buccaneers postseason lore. He was a member of six playoff teams and played in 10 postseason contests, both tied for second-most in franchise history behind only Derrick Brooks, and the most ever by an offensive player.
 
Alstott was part of five Buccaneer playoff victories, tied for a franchise best, while his 341 rushing yards are also the most in club history. Alstott’s seven postseason touchdowns, all rushing, are five more than any other player in team history. Four of those scores came en route to the Super Bowl XXXVII title in San Diego following the 2002 season. Alstott also ranks third in postseason receptions (21) and fourth in postseason receiving yards (161).   
 
In retirement, Alstott and his wife, Nicole, settled in the Tampa Bay community and formed the Mike Alstott Family Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to uplift the minds, hearts and spirits of families and children on their way to realizing their full potential through various events, assistance programs and celebrations. Mike is also the head football coach at Northside Christian School in St. Petersburg.
           
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