Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gibbs: Season preview

Coach: Yusuf Shakir (second season, 6-5) | Last season: 6-5 | Class: 5A, District 10 | Colors: blue and gold

Gibbs did some impressive things in coach Yusuf Shakir's first season. The Gladiators went 6-5, clinched the runnerup spot in Class 5A, District 10 and made the playoffs for the first time in six years. Shakir believes Gibbs will continue its return to prominence, despite having to replace nearly every starter on offense.

Two strengths

1. Skill players. Though the Gladiators graduate their entire offensive backfield, Shakir isn't fretting, especially with Josh Rembert taking over at quarterback for the departed Lamar Hall. When Rembert drops back to pass, he'll have at his disposal one of the county's deepest and most dangerous stable of wideouts. Shakir said six receivers could see playing time with Jarvis West emerging as the top target after gaining more than 200 all-purpose yards against Palm Harbor U. in the spring.

2. Special teams. Shakir spends more time on special teams than most coaches and it shows. Last year, the Gladiators blocked 13 kicks and had eight returns for touchdowns. Gibbs will continue to be a force in that area. The only concern is finding a replacement for kicker Tommy Haines, who graduated.

Two questions

1. How much will the defense improve? The Gladiators had trouble stopping the run last season. That had a lot to do with playing so many underclassmen. This season, Gibbs returns eight starters, including lineman Tim Jackson, linebacker Gary Gainer and defensive back Jacobie Dandy. The experience should be enough for the defense to show progress.

2. Do the Gladiators have enough big bodies up front: Gibbs has beefed up with four starters averaging 260 pounds. The best is Jared Walker, the son of former Buccaneer Jackie Walker. Jared (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) was named to the third-team, national preseason list by Florida Football Magazine.

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Gibbs: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, September 4, 2008 3:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity

    Bucs

    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  2. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support

    Sports

    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  3. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now

    College

    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.
  5. Four questions the Lightning still has to answer

    Lightning Strikes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-name prospects heading out.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) looks on from the bench during a shift change at Lightning hockey training camp in Brandon on Monday (09/18/17). In background on right is Nikita Kucherov (86). DIRK SHADD   |   Times