Tampa, FL-- 12-year left tackle Paul Gruber, will be the 4th member of the Bucs' Ring of Honor.
Bucs' Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, made the announcement and introduced Gruber at a Wednesday news conference.
Paul Gruber was the Bucs' first-round draft choice in 1988, the 4th pick overall, out of Wisconsin.
He turned into an iron man. Paul Gruber didn't miss a snap in his first 5 years in the NFL. He started all 183 games he played with the Bucs from 1988-99.. that's the third-most game started in team history.
He made several All-Pro teams, and was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl in 1997. Lack of national publicity was a factor in Gruber not receiving more recognition. The Bucs were a poor team in Gruber's first 8 seasons, before Tony Dungy arrived in Tampa.
Gruber admitted to 10 News' Sports Anchor Dave Wirth, that the losing wore on him. "Oh yea... Life is better when you're winning," said Gruber. "The atmosphere in the whole community was terrific in 1997. But when you go through all that losing, it makes winning more special."
Tony Dungy coached Gruber his final four seasons with the Bucs. He agreed that Gruber was a very quiet guy, but he wasn't a pushover.
"All the defensive guys... Hardy Nickerson, Sapp, Lynch... said Pauls the one guy you don't want to get mad," said Dungy. "Nobody messes with him. You don't want to see him upset."
Paul Gruber will be inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 14. The 1997 Playoff team will also be honored at that game.
Throwback Sunday will be observed the following Sunday, Oct. 21, against the New Orleans Saints.