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. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip

    Blogs

    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games

    Blogs

    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.