9. Offensive Tackle Paul Gruber:
Played for the Buccaneers from 1988 to 1999. Gruber started every game that he ever appeared in for the Bucs and once owned the franchise record for both categories. He recently became just the fourth member of the Bucs' Ring of Honor and will be officially inducted into it during the 2012 season.
Why is Gruber is No. 9?
Gruber played 12 seasons for the Buccaneers before retiring prior to the 2000 season. His 183 starts ranks him third all-time in Tampa Bay history behind only LB Derrick Brooks and CB Ronde Barber. While he never truly got recognized on a national scale because of the Bucs' lack of success during the early parts of his career, Gruber was an All-Pro three times (once first-team, twice second-team).
Gruber's Legacy with the Buccaneers
Gruber, who was the fourth overall pick in the 1988 NFL Draft, is one of the best first-round selections in team history. He was a constant fixture on the offensive line, a reliable and solid blocker, and is easily the best left tackle the team has ever had. At one point, Gruber played in an incredible 4,850 consecutive snaps from '88-'92.
Because Gruber had such an illustrous career, the Bucs decided to honor him by inducting him into the team's Ring of Honor. Gruber joins head coach John McKay, Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, and tight end Jimmie Giles. He, along with the rest of the 1997 Bucs team, will be celebrated during the October 14 home game against Kansas City.
Although Gruber never made it to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, he was voted as an All-Pro three times ('89, '91, '92). That is the second most All-Pro selections for an offensive player in franchise history behind only FB Mike Alstott (four). Because of that, it's easy to see why Gruber checks in at No. 9 on our list. He is easily one of the best offensive players the team has ever produced.
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