Gruber becomes the fourth member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor, joining Hall of Fame defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, head coach John McKay and tight end Jimmie Giles.
“Paul was a Buccaneer Man, before we talked about Buccaneer Men,” said Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer, according to team’s press release. “He went on to become everything you would want in a left tackle or family man; dependable, dependable, dependable.”
“For a dozen years he lined up against the fiercest and loudest pass rushers the opposition had to offer, and quietly proceeded to give them all they could handle,” he added.
Gruber, a fixture at left tackle, spent his entire 12-year career with the Buccaneers. He started in all 183 games he played, ranking as the fourth-most games played and third-most games started in team history.
One of the most decorated players in team history, he was 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.
Gruber was selected in the first round (4th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft, and opened his career with a remarkable string of 4,850 consecutive snaps (1988-92).
He also played the entire 1989 campaign without a holding penalty and was instrumental in helping the 1999 Bucs collect their first division crown in 18 years.
The Ring of Honor is prominently displayed at Raymond James Stadium and recognizes the individuals who have made the most significant contributions to the history of the franchise.