Gary Gibson is one of several unsung heroes on the Buccaneers roster who have helped turned their rush defense around, going from last in 2011, to No.1 in the league this season. At age 30, Gibson is one of the oldest players on the entire football team, and by far the oldest defensive lineman.
Bucs DT Gary Gibson sometimes feels likes the old man in the defensive line meeting room.
While many reading this will think being 30 years old is still a young man, compared to his teammates –Gerald McCoy (24), Roy Miller (25) Daniel Te‘o-Nesheim (25) Da’Quan Bowers (22) Michael Bennett (27), Aaron Morgan (24) – Gibson is no doubt the elder statesman.
Despite the age difference, Gibson fits in well according to Te-o’ Nesheim.
“I’d say he is like a classic Jersey guy,” Te‘o-Nesheim said smiling. “He is funny he’s a big time family man. I come over and eat some matzo ball soup or Thanksgiving dinner. He is always welcoming and super nice. A super nice guy. I can’t say anything bad about him at all."
Gibson, who previously played for the Ravens, Panthers and the Rams, appreciates his teammates and how comfortable they have made him feel as a first-year player.
“I really enjoy it here (in Tampa) and have come to love the defensive line room,” Gibson said. “I knew half the staff of guys (coaches), the strength coaches, Schiano at Rutgers, Randy Melvin when I was at Rutgers. It is a very welcoming atmosphere, and hey, it doesn’t hurt to be in Florida.
“It is great because I fit right in because I like to have a few laughs too. But when it comes down to it all the guys are serious about their jobs and they go full tilt with it.”
Gibson played well last week against Philadelphia subbing for an injured Roy Miller, catching the eye of his head coach.
“I thought Gary (Gibson) played a solid game,” Schiano said. “It was not spectacular, but he did his job. If everybody does that we will be good. When you look at the grade sheet it was clean as far as mistakes and that kind of stuff.”
Miller spoke highly of his teammate and friend this week during the open locker room period.
“Gary has a very important role on this team,” Miller said. “He can play the three-technique and also nose tackle. And he has the ability to rush as well. He is a valuable piece of this defense. When he comes in, he produces like everyone else.
“Me and him, we call each other Thunder and Lightning. I’m the Thunder and he is the Lighting since he is a little bit quicker than me, but we are both equally destructive. We take pride in that on game day. I know when he goes in there he is going to do the same thing (that whoever he is subbing for would do).”
Gibson wasn’t too keen on talking about himself and quickly turned the conversation to Gerald McCoy when speaking to PewterReport.com.
“Just because it doesn’t show up on the stat sheet – Gerald dominates a lot of games,” Gibson said. “And he doesn’t always get the credit he deserves. He is young yet and there is plenty of time for that. He just needs to keep doing what he is doing.”
Gibson also had high praise for his head coach.
“He definitely cares about his guys,” Gibson said. “He works tirelessly all day and is probably here until 1 or 2 a.m. and you have to really respect that about him. That he cares about us and grinds for us.”
While Gibson’s stats won’t wow anyone (just 13 tackles on the season) his teammates are glad to have him on their side.
“He is a beast, and he is super strong,” Te-‘o Nesheim said. And has surprisingly athletic ability for a guy his size. More than that he is a good dude. A big thing is he has played under these coaches and knows what they like and what the expectations are. He gives me tips how to handle myself. (He is) really a big brother figure.”
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