By Times staff writers
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 15, 2002
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"I think it's a disappointment. You look upon it in terms of what he meant to our organization and to me, and that's a great deal. As a coach he has brought a tremendous amount of respect to the franchise. More important is the contribution he made to a number of players by making them better men. There are few people I admire more than Coach Dungy.
"People fail to realize how much time we spend together. Sometimes during the season we spend more time with each other than with our families. Tony was not only my coach, but also a great friend.
"We were in the business to win a championship and Tony was the guy who could get us there. I still believe in the group of guys we have here and I am still very excited about the chance to play for a championship.
"Tony is a strong man and he'll be on the top of a lot of people's list. I know he's going to be fine."
JOHN LYNCH, Bucs safety
"Everybody's feelings toward him are always positive, so for him to get treated negatively is in a bad light. Obviously, he gave me an opportunity in the league, and it's something I hold dear to my heart. I'm at a loss for words.
"(His legacy) should be remembered for how he pulled this franchise from the ashes. He made it into something and made a bunch of players into special players. Shortsighted people will look at his record in the playoffs, but there are a lot of coaches who would love to be in the playoffs."
RONDE BARBER, Bucs cornerback
"After six seasons as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, head coach Tony Dungy has been relieved of his coaching duties.
"It has been a pleasure to work with not only Tony Dungy, the coach, but Tony Dungy the man. This has been a most difficult decision. Tony has done great things for our football team and our community. I know I speak for the whole Tampa Bay community and all Bucs fans in wishing Tony and his family the best."
MALCOLM GLAZER, owner, in Bucs news release
"We are looking for a strong ethical leader for our team. We have a winning team to get Dungy the ring."
LYNN WILLIAMS, GM of 10-0 Tampa Bay Force women's football team, who offered Dungy the vacant coaching job
"Coach Dungy is a class act. But I think he sealed his fate when, during the press conference on Sunday, he said that we do not need a new approach, we just need to the do the same things -- only better.
"Excuse me. That was the game plan last January. It didn't work.
"We need a new approach, not more of the same."
JOHN J. THORNTON, Tampa
"Once again the Bucs go down the drain. Lots of money, big smiles all the way to the bank, and a coach that has nothing but excuses and has been a loser at motivating his players.
"Welcome the Big Tuna."
LARRY BOWSER, Hudson
"As a rabid Patriots fan who also happened to be living in New York when Bill Parcells was at the Jets' helm, I can tell you that Bucs fans have reason for optimism. Bill Parcells is one of the best NFL head coaches of our time. But I would also warn you to keep your enthusiasm guarded.
"In case you haven't noticed, he's developed a track record of taking his teams to the brink of true greatness, and then quitting. I would never doubt his ability, but I question his commitment."
A. DAVID BROWN, San Francisco
"If Dungy has to choose between the Colts and Panthers, it is a safe guess that the Colts have the edge for a few reasons. One is that he would have Peyton Manning for his quarterback in Indianapolis, compared to Chris Weinke in Carolina.
"Dungy also might not relish the twice-a-year publicity circus he surely would face as coach of the Panthers, who would compete with the Buccaneers in the realigned NFC South division."
CHRIS MORTENSEN, ESPN.com NFL analyst
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