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Bruce Gradkowski
refer to caption
Gradkowski in 2012
St. Louis BattleHawks
Position:Offensive Coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1983-01-27) January 27, 1983 (age 39)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Seton-La Salle Catholic
(Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania)
College:Toledo (2001–2005)
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 6 / Pick: 194
Career history
As a player:
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
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 NFL.com · PFR

Bruce Raymond Gradkowski (born January 27, 1983) is a former American football quarterback and current offensive coordinator for the St. Louis BattleHawks. He played college football at Toledo. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the sixth round (194th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. Gradkowski was also a member of the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh Steelers. His younger brother, Gino, is a former NFL center.

Early years

Gradkowski is a 2001 graduate from Seton-La Salle Catholic High School. He played as a member of the Seton-La Salle Rebels from 1997 to 2000 in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL). As a junior, Gradkowski threw for 1,630 yards and 10 touchdowns. This performance was then improved as a senior, when he completed 188-of-327 passes (57.5%) and threw for a then-WPIAL record of 2,978 yards and 30 touchdowns (surpassing the previous mark set by Dan 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 only saw action as the field goal holder on the special teams unit. In 2003, he became the starting quarterback as a sophomore and set a Mid-American Conference season record by completing 71.2% of his passes. He threw for 3,210 yards and set a school season record of 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Gradkowski's final passer rating was 161.53. He proved he could scramble by rushing for 504 yards and one touchdown on 91 carries (5.5 avg). In 2004, Gradkowski completed 70.2% of his passes for 3,518 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions and a final passer rating of 162.56. He played in the GMAC Bowl and was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP). As a senior in 2005, Gradkowski completed 62.3% of his passes for 2,469 yards with 29 touchdowns and twelve interceptions and a final passer rating of 146.42. Gradkowski was the first quarterback in NCAA Division I-A history to complete more than 70 percent of his passes in consecutive seasons.[1]

College statistics

Season Passing
Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg Lng TD Int Sck Rtg
2003 277 389 71.2 3,210 8.3 66 29 7 9 161.5
2004 280 399 70.2 3,518 8.8 96 27 8 14 162.6
2005 207 332 62.3 2,469 7.4 70 29 12 9 146.4
Career 764 1,120 68.2 9,197 8.2 96 85 27 34 156.8

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 1+38 in
(1.86 m)
217 lb
(98 kg)
30+14 in
(0.77 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.61 s 1.63 s 2.72 s 4.16 s 7.12 s 34 in
(0.86 m)
8 ft 11 in
(2.72 m)
19[2]
All values from NFL Combine[3][4][5]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Gradkowski in the sixth round (194th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft.[6]

After a promising preseason he was nicknamed "The Great Gradkowski". When 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 of 31 attempts for 225 yards with two touchdowns as the Buccaneers suffered their fourth consecutive loss.

Gradkowski remained the starter after his first loss and won the next two games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles before losing three straight to the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers. On November 19, 2006, he completed 14 of 21 attempts for 178 yards, two touchdowns, amd one interception in a 20–17 victory over the Washington Redskins.

On Thanksgiving, the Buccaneers would lose to the Dallas Cowboys after Gradkowski threw two interceptions and only completed 10 passes. He continued to falter the following week throwing three interceptions in a loss to his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. His play would continue to decline with losses against the Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears and he was benched in the middle of both games. Gradkowski was replaced in the second quarter against Chicago by Tim Rattay, who threw for four touchdowns in the second half of the game. Gradkowski, by contrast, had not thrown a touchdown in the previous 10 quarters before being pulled and would not start again in 2006. He finished his rookie season with 1,661 passing yards on 177 completions in 328 pass attempts, nine touchdowns, and nine interceptions.[7]

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 but only completed 9 of 19 passes and didn't score. Gradkowski was benched the next week in favor of Luke McCown.

Gradkowski had a record of 3–8 as a Tampa Bay starter and set an NFL record by throwing 200 passes between his first and second interceptions.[8]

On May 30, 2008, Gradkowski was waived by the Buccaneers.[9]

St. Louis Rams

Gradkowski was claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Rams in June 2008,[10] 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.[11] Gradkowski was waived on February 9, 2009.

Oakland Raiders

Gradkowski in 2010
Gradkowski in 2010

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 two touchdowns, matching former Raiders quarterback 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 beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27–24. Gradkowski completed 20-of-33 passes for 308 yards and three 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.[12][13]

On December 13, 2009, he was injured in a game against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter and was replaced by Russell. The Raiders lost the game 34–13 without Gradowski.[14] Gradkowski missed the remainder of the 2009 season with a partially torn Medial collateral ligaments in both knees.[15]

On March 15, 2010, he was re-signed by the Oakland Raiders for one year.[16] He tore a pectoral muscle while lifting weights in April 2010.[17] 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.

On September 22, 2010, Gradkowski became the Oakland Raiders starting quarterback for Week 3.[18] 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.[19]

Cincinnati Bengals

Following the 2011 NFL lockout, Gradkowski signed a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[20] 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 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
Gradkowski in 2013

On March 13, 2013, Gradkowski signed a three-year deal with his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.[21]

Ultimately, Gradkowski had very few career snaps with the Steelers. 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.[22]

The Steelers re-signed Gradkowski to a one-year contract on May 2, 2016.[23] 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.[22][24] The Steelers released Gradkowski on October 7, 2016.[22]

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Fum
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2006 TB 13 11 177 328 54.0 1,661 5.1 9 9 65.9 41 161 3.9 0 11
2007 TB 4 0 13 24 54.2 130 5.4 0 1 52.4 7 20 2.9 0 0
2008 CLE 2 1 7 21 33.3 26 1.2 0 3 2.8 1 2 2.0 0 0
2009 OAK 7 4 82 150 54.7 1,007 6.7 6 3 80.6 18 108 6.0 0 5
2010 OAK 6 4 83 157 52.9 1,059 6.7 5 7 66.3 12 41 3.4 0 3
2011 CIN 2 0 8 18 44.4 109 6.1 1 1 59.7 11 29 2.6 0 0
2012 CIN 2 0 5 11 45.5 65 5.9 0 0 64.6 4 -2 -0.5 0 1
2013 PIT 0 0 DNP
2014 PIT 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 2 -2 -1.0 0 0
Career 37 20 375 709 52.9 4,057 5.7 21 24 65.8 88 329 3.7 0 20

Personal life

In 2017, Gradkowski became a volunteer assistant quarterbacks coach at Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio and also joined the University of Toledo's Rocket Football Radio Network as a color analyst.[25][26]

On June 15, 2021, it was reported he would be the head coach at St. Francis de Sales School (Toledo, Ohio).[27] After serving as interim coach for one football season (2021) at St. Francis de Sales School, Bruce permanently became the head football coach at St. Francis de Sales for the 2022 season.[28]

Gradkowski is the owner of Social Gastropub in Perrysburg, Ohio.[29]

References

  1. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski - Football".
  2. ^ "Historical NFL Wonderlic Scores". wonderlictestsample.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  4. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo, QB, 2006 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  5. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski, Combine Results, QB - Toledo". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "2006 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  7. ^ "NFL Player Profile:Bruce Gradkowski". NFL.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  8. ^ nfl.com https://web.archive.org/web/20061109114706/http://nfl.com/fantasy/story/9787771. Archived from the original on November 9, 2006. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Bucs Sign TE Stevens, Cut QB Gradkowski". May 30, 2008.
  10. ^ "Rams add Gradkowski to mix of quarterbacks behind Bulger". NFL.com. July 26, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  11. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski to Start Finale for Browns v. Steelers". SI.com. December 25, 2008. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved December 25, 2008.
  12. ^ Corman, Rebecca (December 8, 2009). "Gradkowski Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week". Raiders.com. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  13. ^ "Wilson: Gradkowski named AFC Player of the Week". National Football Post. December 9, 2009. Archived from the original on October 23, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  14. ^ "Redskins vs. Raiders - Box Score - December 13, 2009 - ESPN".
  15. ^ Williamson, Bill (December 13, 2009). "Gradkowski likely to miss season". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  16. ^ "Oakland Raiders NFL Football". Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  17. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (April 15, 2010). "Bruce Gradkowski tears pectoral muscle". ProFootballTalk. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  18. ^ "Gradkowski wrests Raiders' starting QB job from Campbell". NFL.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  19. ^ "Raiders place Gradkowski on IR after surgery". ESPN.com. December 2, 2010. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  20. ^ "Jay Gruden: Bruce Gradkowski is "the ultimate competitor"". Stripehype.com. July 28, 2011.
  21. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 13, 2013). "Gradkowski agrees to three-year deal with Steelers". NBCSports.com. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  22. ^ a b c Chester, Simon A. (October 7, 2016 Chester, Simon A. (October 8, 2016). "Steelers release quarterback Bruce Gradkowski". USA Today Sports Digital Properties.
  23. ^ Wesseling, Chris (May 2, 2016). "Steelers re-sign veteran backup QB Bruce Gradkowski". NFL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  24. ^ Bergman, Jeremy. "Steelers claim Mettenberger, put Gradkowski on IR". NFL.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  25. ^ Briggs, David (August 11, 2017). "Bruce Gradkowski is back in school, and kids and coaches love it". post-gazette.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  26. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski to Join Rocket Football Radio Network Team". utrockets.com. August 11, 2017. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  27. ^ Strack, Jordan (June 15, 2021). "Former Toledo QB Bruce Gradkowski will be new head football coach at St. Francis". WTOL. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  28. ^ "NBC 24 News". nbc24.com. January 18, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  29. ^ "Social Gastropub - About Us". socialgastropub.com. Retrieved November 11, 2020.