Tampa BayWatch – My Thoughts on the Bucs

Mike Alstott placed on IR

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On Thursday at an emotional press conference the Buccaneers and Mike Alstott announced that he would be placed on Injured Reserve for the 07 season.

Alstott had noticed that the usual training camp soreness was not receding from his neck. An examination by the surgeon that worked on Alstott’s first neck injury in 2003 has shown unacceptable levels of stress in the neck above the area that was damaged and subsequently fused. The surgeons have decided that the best approach is to keep Alstott off the field, as they can’t be sure what would happen if further stress was to occur in the neck.

“There are always situations where it could be worsened by playing,” said Alstott. “That’s why we have IR and that’s why you don’t play for the rest of the year. It is a severe injury and it’s a situation you don’t mess with. That’s why we’re in front of you right now.” – Mike Alstott

Mike Alstott

Mike, with Derrick Brooks is one of the most popular players in team history, and at the press conference could not broach the subject of possible retirement. He deflected all the media questions regarding his retirement, replying that it’s “something that will be answered in time”.

Mike is a true great both on and off the field for the Buccaneers. Drafted with the 35th pick of the 1996 draft the former Purdue college star made an immediate impact in his first pro season. He led the Buccaneers with six touchdowns and became the first Buccaneer to score at least three rushing TDs and three receiving TDs in same season. End of season honours for this rookie performance included first-alternate selection for 1996 Pro Bowl, 1996 AP All-Pro second-team, 1996 Football Digest All-Pro second-team and NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month in November.

Mike would become a Pro Bowl regular making the trip out to Hawaii on 6 consecutive occasions, he also holds a host of Buccaneer franchise records. He is the Buccaneers all-time leader in total touchdowns with 71 and rushing touchdowns with 58. He ranks second all-time on the rushing list with 5,088 yards and ranks third in team history with 305 career receptions.

There are two questions that need addressing from Mike being placed on IR, What does the future hold for Mike and what does it hold for the Bucs ?

Football, due to its very physical nature has always ascribed to the “next man up” logic where the greatest of heroes will be replaced when the spectre of injury is looming. With Mike being placed on IR the likely “next man up” is BJ Askew. Askew was signed from the NY Jets in the last off season. Known more as a special teams star, it will be his responsibility to be the lead blocker for Cadillac Williams. Whether he has the receiving or blocking skills of Alstott is yet to be seen.

The other side of Mike that will be missed is that of team leadership. Along with Derrick Brooks, Alstott is the emotional heartbeat of the team and that will be hard to replace. He’ll be around on the sidelines and the locker room thats for sure but can Mike raise the emotion levels when he’s not suited up.

So what does the future hold now for Alstott ? My hunch is retirement, as much as he couldn’t come to say it at the press conference I think Mike has suited up for the last time. With his no nonsense style of play, why run around someone when you can run over them, a neck injury is always possible. Mike already seems to be at more risk than most due to the injury in 2003 and given time to mull over the choices I think Mike will retire at the end of this season.

Mike has provided me with numerous great memories over the time that I have followed the Buccaneers, and will never tire of hearing “Mike Alstott….Up the gut…… Touchdown Tampa Baaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!”

Thanks for the memories Mike, it’s been a great 10 years.


Written by UK Bucs Fan

August 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Posted in IR, NFL, Players, Season Review

One Response

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  1. […] has been on the sidelines all season after being placed on IR after concerns around some neck stiffness after training camp. I have a feeling that Mike will […]

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