Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Blast from the Past: Number 74, OT, Paul Gruber.

I think I will start a new weekly topic called "A Blast from the Past". This is my way to pay tribute to the great Buccaneer players of the past. Some of these players are in our hearts as Buccaneer fans, but will never be honored any other way. This week I will start with the great Paul Gruber, tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Paul Gruber was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the fourth overall 1st round pick in 1988 as an offensive tackle out of Wisconsin. Gruber player for the Buccaneers from 1988-1999. He signed three contracts during his 12 years with the Bucs and made roughly $22.3-million on the field.

Gruber is best know for his durability. He started in 183 consecutive games, which he appeared in for the Bucs and leads the all-time appearance record today. Gruber unfortunately was never rewarded for his efforts as being one of the best and most durable lineman of his era. Gruber was never selected to the Pro Bowl due to the Bucs' lack of success in those early years. When finally he looked set for a chance for real post-season glory, he broke his leg in Green Bay and was a spectator on the sideline when the Bucs lost to the Rams in the 1999 NFC Championship Game. He retired after the 1999 season and was recognized by the franchise for his efforts in a 2000 home game ceremony.

Gruber was selected by the Pewter Report as the number 6 greatest Buc of all time and tagged "the franchise player".

Gruber was elected to the Bucs UK Hall of Fame in 2002.

Gruber was named as the 6th Greatest Buccaneer Player of all-time by BUCPOWER.COM in 2003.

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