Paul Gruber – OT (1988-1999)
It’s no secret that the Buccaneers have a problem with their offensive line. It hasn’t been good, like, at all. Sure, they lost a lot on the inside, but they still have some talent in there, and that’s especially true on the outside. The team as a whole has also even had their desire and aggressiveness put into question, leading some to think they’ve grown complacent.
Do you know who wouldn’t let that continue to be the case? Paul Gruber.
Gruber is probably the best offensive lineman the Bucs have ever had, so much so that he stood out during the dog days of the franchise. Gruber was the left tackle during the depths of the “Yucks” or “Suckaneers” phase of the franchise. He still managed to persevere though, being named second-team All-Pro twice in 1991 and 1992. He’s a fighter and would be the exact kick in the pants this team could use. He’s also an offensive guy, so that would help too.
Gruber is arguably the candidate most like Saturday the Bucs could find. A member of the Ring of Honor? Check. Offensive lineman? Double Check. Beloved by the fans and franchise? Check, check and check. Bonus points since he hasn’t been a coach in the NFL to boot.
The only thing missing on Gruber’s resume is the fact that he wasn’t on TV, nor was he a champion. Gruber was gone just before the first golden period of the franchise, just missing out on a ring in 2002, which is a real shame. Should things get nuts and the Bucs go this route, maybe he can get one in 2022 as a coach. One can dream.