Initially, Justin Pawlowski and just about everyone else in Buccaneers nation was surprised at the addition of Paul Gruber to the Buccaneers Ring of Honor. Not that he doesn’t deserve the honor, just that it isn’t a “high profile” selection.
But after looking back at Gruber’s career, Justin realized how valuable Gruber was to the Buccaneers during his 12-year career.
Gruber joined Justin on his radio show, The Commish, and explained his feelings on the team’s journey and playing for a coach like Tony Dungy.
“(Dungy) was a tremendous blessing and a breath of fresh air – especially after the beginning of my career,” Gruber said. “I think it’s more the role model and watching what he did instead of what’s said. I felt really blessed to have the opportunity to play for him.”
Gruber was a member of the Buccaneers during their struggle in the late 80’s and early 90’s and said that “It was fun to be apart of turning things around.”
When rumors started swirling around that Gruber would be the newest player inducted, some began to question the legitimacy of the selection.
Before addressing the selection itself, Justin made the point that “The Buccaneers Ring of Honor is the best of the best Buccaneers that represented the old orange and white and the new red and pewter. They dedicated their lives to the Buccaneers logo.”
“There’s a reason that he (Gruber) is the next inductee. There’s zero debate as to whether or not Paul Gruber deserves to be in the Buccaneers Ring of Honor,” Justin said. “Zero Debate.”
Gruber’s induction will be officially announced at the home game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 14th.
“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone and when Paul Gruber retired, the Buccaneers had no idea what they were doing at left tackle,” Justin said. “Nobody solidified that position like Paul Gruber did.”