Quiet Gruber “Did His Own Lawn Work”June 6th, 2012
Former Bucs left tackle Paul Gruber (1988-1999) will be introduced as a Ring of Honor inductee later this morning at One Buc Palace, so Joe was curious what Gruber’s seven-seasons Bucs teammate, Ian Beckles, would have to say about Gruber during the Ron and Ian Show on WDAE-AM 620 this morning.
Beckles described Gruber as “quiet to a fault” and a “homebody” who regularly attended church, never joked around, never cursed, rarely hung out with teammates and took many pages of notes in team meetings. Beckles also said Gruber was a man of routine — “for 7 years he had the same thing for lunch” — and was in the weight room year round.
Beckles said his daughter was a friend of Gruber’s daughter and Beckles often was dropping off his kid at Gruber’s house, where he’d see Gruber toiling in the yard doing his own lawn work during football season. (This really stood out for Joe. How NFL players, All-Pros no less, are breaking their backs doing yard work.)
On the field, Beckles said Gruber was “a finesse player” with incredible feet. And Beckles said he didn’t truly realize how great Gruber was until Beckles moved on to play for the Eagles and had to play with lesser tackles.