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Paul Gruber | Ring of Honor | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ring of Honor

Paul Gruber

Gruber 1

In June 2012, the Buccaneers announced the name of the man who would be the fourth member of the team's Ring of Honor: Paul Gruber. 

Gruber joined Hall of Fame DE Lee Roy Selmon, Head Coach John McKay and TE Jimmie Giles in receiving the highest honor the franchise can bestow, as he was inducted during Tampa Bay's Week 6 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gruber is one of the most decorated players in team history, having been named a two-time team MVP (Tampa Sports Club, 1992; local media, 1994), the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner (1995), first team All-Pro (USA Today, 1996), two-time second team All-Pro (College and Pro Football Newsweekly, 1990; Associated Press, 1992), two-time All-NFC selection (United Press International, 1989; Football News, 1990) and a Pro Bowl alternate in 1997.

Born in the small town of Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, Gruber was recruited to the University of Wisconsin as a tight end. Then-head coach, Ron McBride, convinced Gruber to transition to the offensive line after the latter was first placed on the defensive line. His coach's suggestion proved to be the right one, as Gruber's talent for the offensive line led to him being selected by the Buccaneers in the first round (4th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft.

Gruber opened his NFL career with a remarkable string of 4,850 consecutive snaps (1988-92). He also played the entire 1989 campaign without a single holding penalty, and was instrumental in helping the 1999 Buccaneers win a division title, which was the team's first in 18 years.

Although a broken leg in the 1999 regular-season finale prevented him from playing with his teammates in that playoff game he had helped earn, Gruber's maturity and leadership remained unmatched.

His reputation both on the team and with the local media was one of a quiet, hardworking leader. He became a dependable force to be reckoned with on the field, and a calming presence in the locker room, even during some of Tampa Bay's down seasons.

Today, Gruber resides in Colorado with his wife, Brenda, and the couple's three children: Blake, Chase, and Ashlyn.