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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have announced that two of their iconic players – QB Doug Williams and FB Mike Alstott – will be added to their Ring of Honor in 2015.
FOX 13 Sports in Tampa Bay reported that the Buccaneers will induct the two players in separate ceremonies in the Fall.
“We think there’s a lot of great candidates,” said Bucs co-chairman Bryan Glazer. “When we sat down and talked about it, we just thought it was time to get two in that deserve to be in, and we should get them in now.”
“The A-Train” Mike Alstott will be inducted on October 4th when the team takes on the division rival Carolina Panthers. In 11 seasons with the team, Alstott was a four-time All-Pro selection and six-time Pro Bowler as one of the most dominating rushing fullbacks – and one of the last great rushers at the position. Along with Warrick Dunn, they formed the tandem of “WD-40″ ( “40” being Alstott’s uniform number) as they won Super Bowl XXXVII against the Oakland Raiders.
“I couldn’t be more honored to be sitting up there with Doug today,” Alstott said. “The guy’s legendary. He was great. I’ll share this day with him… I loved it. It was a passion. I had a flame burning inside me. Having 12 years with an organization, a couple years on IR. It was a blessing.”
Williams, the Buccaneers 1st-round draft pick in 1978 who led them to their first ever playoff appearance in 1979, will be inducted on December 12th when the team plays the division rival Atlanta Falcons. Williams would later become the first African-American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl when he led Washington to a win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.
Known to have had a strained relationship with the Buccaneers, Williams was surprised that it took him so long to make it in to the team that he helped pull out of the gutter in its early days.
“At first I thought I would have been a little sooner, but at the same time you realize you don’t control it,” said Williams. “That’s when I said, whatever happens, happens. Whoever they put up there, that’s fine. I have to roll with the punches and if they call my name then I’ll listen. And it happened.”
Prior to Williams’ arrival in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers had gone 2-26 in their first two seasons as an expansion team.