Bruce Gradkowski

Bruce Gradkowski

refer to caption

Gradkowski with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013
No. --Free agent
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1983-01-27) January 27, 1983
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Pittsburgh (PA) Seton-La Salle
College: Toledo
NFL Draft: 2006 / Round: 6 / Pick: 194
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2015
Pass attempts / completions: 709 / 375
Percentage: 52.9
TDINT: 21-24
Passing yards: 4,057
QB Rating: 65.8
Rushing yards / TDs: 331 / 0
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Bruce Raymond Gradkowski (born January 27, 1983) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft after playing college football at Toledo.

Gradkowski has also been a member of the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh Steelers. His younger brother, Gino, currently plays for the Carolina Panthers.

Early years

Gradkowski is a 2001 graduate from Seton-La Salle Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. He played as a member of the Seton-La Salle Rebels from 1997 to 2000 in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL). This is the same league that produced football legends such as Tony Dorsett (Hopewell High School), Dan Marino (Central Catholic High School), Bill Fralic (Penn Hills High School), Joe Montana (Ringgold High School), Joe Namath (Beaver Falls High School), and Johnny Unitas (St. Justin High School). As a junior, Gradkowski threw for 1,630 yards and 10 touchdowns. This performance was then improved as a senior, when he completed 188 out of 327 passes (a completion percentage of 57.5%) and threw for a then-WPIAL record of 2,978 yards and 30 touchdowns (surpassing the previous mark set by Marino). In high school, Gradkowski also played basketball, serving as Seton-La Salle's starting point guard and leading his team in scoring.

College career

After redshirting as a freshman at Toledo in 2001, Gradkowski saw action only as the holder on the special teams unit. In 2003, he became the starting quarterback as a sophomore. He set a Mid-American Conference season record by completing 71.2% of his passes. He threw for 3,210 yards, with a school season record of 29 touchdowns and 7 interceptions and a final passer rating of 161.53. He proved he could scramble by rushing for 504 yards and a score on 91 carries (5.5 avg). In 2004, Gradkowski passed for 3518 yards with 27 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He played in the GMAC Bowl and won MVP.



Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BPWonderlic
6 ft 1 in 217 lb 4.61 s 1.63 s 2.72 s 4.16 s 7.12 s 34 in 8 ft 11 in 19[1]
All values from NFL Combine[2]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, coached by Jon Gruden, drafted Gradkowski in the 6th round (194th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.

After a promising preseason he was nicknamed "The Great Gradkowski". After starting quarterback Chris Simms suffered a ruptured spleen, Gradkowski was named the starter going into Week 5 against New Orleans. In his debut, he completed 20/31 attempts for 225 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Buccaneers suffered their fourth consecutive loss.

After his first loss, he won two straight starts against the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles before losing to the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and the Carolina Panthers. On November 19, 2006, he completed 14/21 attempts for 178 passing yards and two touchdowns while also throwing an interception, in a 20-17 victory over the Washington Redskins.

On Thanksgiving day, the Buccaneers would lose to the Dallas Cowboys, after Gradkowski there 2 interceptions and only completed 10 passes. The following week he continued to falter as he threw 3 interceptions in a loss to his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. His play would continue to decline as he would lose the next two games against the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears and was also benched in the middle of both games. In the second quarter in Chicago, he was pulled for good in favor of Tim Rattay. He would not start again in 2006 as Rattay led a comeback, accounting for 4 Touchdowns in the second half, whereas under Gradkowski the team had a streak of 10 scoreless quarters. He finished his rookie season completing 177 out of 328 pass attempts for 1,661 yards and 9 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.[3]

In 2007, during a Week 12 matchup against the Washington Redskins, Gradkowski came in after the first play because of an injury to newly acquired starting quarterback Jeff Garcia. However, he would only complete 9/19 passes and didn't throw a single touchdown. The next week, Gradkowski was benched in favor of Luke McCown.

He had a record of 3-8 as a starter. Gradkowski set the record for throwing more passes in NFL history before suffering a second career interception, with 200 passes.[4]

On May 30, 2008, Gradkowski was waived by the Buccaneers.

St. Louis Rams

Gradkowski was claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Rams in June 2008,[5] but was waived during final cuts on August 30, 2008.

Cleveland Browns

Gradkowski was signed by the Cleveland Browns as their fourth-string quarterback on December 2, 2008 after quarterback Derek Anderson was placed on injured reserve. He was the starter for the Browns' 2008 season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 28, 2008, after injuries to Anderson, Brady Quinn, and Ken Dorsey.[6]

Gradkowski was waived on February 9, 2009.

Oakland Raiders

A day after being waived by the Browns, Gradkowski was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Raiders.

On November 22, 2009, in his first start for the Raiders, Gradkowski threw 2 touchdowns, matching former Raiders quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell's total for the season to that point, and led the team to come from behind 20-17 victory over the heavily favored Cincinnati Bengals.

In week 13, on the road the Raiders won 27-24 on a huge upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Gradkowski completed 20 of 33 passes for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns, including an 11-yard game winning touchdown to Louis Murphy. For his performance in this game he was awarded the AFC Offensive Player of the Week award for week 13 of the regular season.[7][8] It was also a new record in the NFL, for the most come from behind touchdowns thrown in the 4th Quarter since 1991, when statistical records started to keep track of this.

On December 13, 2009, he was injured in a game against the Washington Redskins during the 2nd quarter and was replaced by the out of shape Russell. The Raiders lost the game 34-13 without Gradowski.[9] Gradkowski missed the remainder of the 2009 season with a partially torn MCL in both knees. [10]

On March 15, 2010, he was re-signed by the Oakland Raiders for one year.[11] He tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights in April 2010.[12] In Week 2 of the 2010 NFL season he took over for benched starter Jason Campbell and lead the Raiders to a victory over the St. Louis Rams.

At Cincinnati Bengal training camp in 2011

On September 22, 2010, Gradkowski became the Oakland Raiders starting QB for week 3.[13] On November 28, 2010, Gradkowski suffered a third-degree separation of his throwing shoulder. On December 2, the Raiders placed Gradkowski on injured reserve, ending his 2010 season.[14]

Cincinnati Bengals

Following the 2011 NFL Lockout, Gradkowski signed a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[15] He was the team's second-string quarterback behind Andy Dalton. After Dalton suffered a minor injury that removed him from the game, Gradkowski threw a touchdown while quick-snapping the ball while the Browns were still in the huddle. He then appeared during a week 13 match up against the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 3 of 6 passes for 17 yards with one interception.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Gradkowski in 2013.

On March 13, 2013, Gradkowski signed a three-year deal with his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.[16]

Ultimately, Gradkowski had very few career snaps with the Steelers. Stat lines show that he played in none of the regular season games during 2013. In 2014, he played in one game. He missed almost the entire 2015 season due to hand and shoulder injuries.[17]

The Steelers re-signed Gradkowski to a one-year contract on May 2, 2016.[18] On August 31, 2016, Gradkowski was placed on the injured reserve list following damage to his hamstring sustained during the opening game of the preseason.[17][19] The Steelers then released Gradkowski on October 7, 2016.[17]

Career statistics

TOTALS 372070937552.94,0575.7212465.8883293.702010

See also


  1. "Historical NFL Wonderlic Scores". Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  2. "Bruce Gradkowski". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  3. "NFL Player Profile:Bruce Gradkowski". Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. Archived November 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. "Rams add Gradkowski to mix of quarterbacks behind Bulger".
  6. Bruce Gradkowski to Start Finale for Browns v. Steelers, December 25, 2008
  7. Corman, Rebecca (2009-12-08). "Gradkowski Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week". Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  8. "Wilson: Gradkowski named AFC Player of the Week". National Football Post. 2009-12-09. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  9. "Redskins vs. Raiders - Box Score - December 13, 2009 - ESPN".
  10. Gradkowski likely to miss season, December 13, 2009
  11. "Oakland Raiders NFL Football".
  12. "Bruce Gradkowski tears pectoral muscle".
  13. "Gradkowski wrests Raiders' starting QB job from Campbell".
  14. AOL. "Sports News & latest headlines from AOL".
  15. "Jay Gruden: Bruce Gradkowski is "the ultimate competitor"".
  16. Gantt, Darin (March 13, 2013). "Gradkowski agrees to three-year deal with Steelers". Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  17. 1 2 3 Chester, Simon A. (October 7, 2016 {{cite web|url=|title=Steelers release quarterback Bruce Gradkowski|date=8 October 2016|publisher=USA Today Sports Digital Properties} }via "Steelers Wire"
  18. Wesseling, Chris (May 2, 2016). "Steelers re-sign veteran backup QB Bruce Gradkowski". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  19. Bergman, Jeremy. "Steelers claim Mettenberger, put Gradkowski on IR".

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