Bruce Gradkowski

Bruce Raymond Gradkowski (born January 27, 1983) is a former American football quarterback. 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 currently playing in the NFL.

Bruce Gradkowski
refer to caption
Gradkowski in 2012
No. 7, 8, 5
Personal information
Born:January 27, 1983 (age 36)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school:Seton-La Salle Catholic
(Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania)
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 6 / Pick: 194
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts / completions:709 / 375
Passing yards:4,057
QB Rating:65.8
Rushing yards / TDs:331 / 0
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

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 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 seven 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 3,518 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He played in the GMAC Bowl and won MVP.


2003 277 389 3,210 71.2 8.25 66 29 7 9 161.53
2004 280 399 3,518 70.2 8.82 96 27 8 14 162.56
2005 207 332 2,469 62.3 7.44 70 29 12 9 146.42

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad Wonderlic
6 ft 1 in
(1.85 m)
217 lb
(98 kg)
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)
All values from NFL Combine[2]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Gradkowski in the sixth 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 two 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 threw two interceptions and only completed 10 passes. The following week, he continued to falter as he threw three 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 four touchdowns in the second half, whereas under Gradkowski the team had a streak of 10 scoreless quarters. He finished his rookie season completing 177-of-328 pass attempts for 1,661 yards and nine touchdowns and nine 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-of-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

Bruce Gradkowski (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 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 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.[7][8]

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.[9] Gradkowski missed the remainder of the 2009 season with a partially torn Medial collateral ligaments 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.

On September 22, 2010, Gradkowski became the Oakland Raiders starting quarterback 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 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

Bruce Gradkowski 2013
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. 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 released Gradkowski on October 7, 2016.[17]

Career statistics

2006 TB 13 11 328 177 54.0 1,661 5.1 9 9 65.9 41 161 3.9 0 11
2007 TB 4 0 24 13 54.2 130 5.4 0 1 52.4 7 20 2.9 0 --
2008 CLE 2 1 21 7 33.3 26 1.2 0 3 2.8 1 2 2.0 0 --
2009 OAK 7 4 150 82 54.7 1,007 6.7 6 3 80.6 18 108 6.0 0 5
2010 OAK 6 4 157 83 52.9 1,059 6.7 5 7 66.3 12 41 3.4 0 3
2011 CIN 2 0 18 8 44.4 109 6.1 1 1 59.7 11 29 2.6 0 --
2012 CIN 2 0 11 5 45.5 65 5.9 0 0 64.6 4 -2 -0.5 0 1
2013 PIT 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0
2014 PIT 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 2 -2 -1.0 0 0
TOTALS 37 20 709 375 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.[20][21]

See also


  1. ^ "Historical NFL Wonderlic Scores". Archived from the original on September 2, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski". Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  3. ^ "NFL Player Profile:Bruce Gradkowski". Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ [1]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 (December 8, 2009). "Gradkowski Named AFC Offensive Player of the Week". Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "Redskins vs. Raiders - Box Score - December 13, 2009 - ESPN".
  10. ^ "Gradkowski likely to miss season". December 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "Oakland Raiders NFL Football". Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  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 June 16, 2014.
  17. ^ a b c Chester, Simon A. (October 7, 2016 "Steelers release quarterback Bruce Gradkowski". USA Today Sports Digital Properties. October 8, 2016.
  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".
  20. ^ Briggs, David (August 11, 2017). "Bruce Gradkowski is back in school, and kids and coaches love it". Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  21. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski to Join Rocket Football Radio Network Team". August 11, 2017. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

External links

2004 Motor City Bowl

The 2004 Motor City Bowl, part of the 2004–05 NCAA football bowl games season, occurred on December 27, 2004 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

2005 GMAC Bowl

The 2005 GMAC Bowl was an American college football bowl game. It was part of the 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season, and was the 8th edition. It was played in December 2005, and featured the UTEP Miners, and the Toledo Rockets.

2005 Toledo Rockets football team

The 2005 Toledo Rockets football team represented the University of Toledo during the 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season. They competed as a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in the West Division. The Rockets were led by head coach Tom Amstutz and senior quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.

2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season

The 2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season was the franchise's 31st season in the National Football League the 9th playing their home games at Raymond James Stadium, and the 5th under head coach Jon Gruden.

The team failed to improve on their 11–5 record in 2005, tumbled to a 4–12 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The next season in 2007, however, saw the Buccaneers taking a 9–7 record, but it also would be the last time the Bucs made the playoffs as of the 2018 season.

2008 Cleveland Browns season

The 2008 Cleveland Browns season was the team's 60th season as a professional sports franchise and its 56th season as a member of the National Football League (NFL). The Browns finished with a 4–12 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs. The season marked Romeo Crennel's fourth (and what would be final) year as head coach of the Browns. Cleveland played all of their home games at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. In the 2008 season, the Browns failed to score a touchdown for 24 consecutive quarters. Also from 2008 to present, the Browns have failed to surpass .500 and having a winning record, thus they failed to make the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

2010 Oakland Raiders season

The 2010 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 41st season in the National Football League and their 51st overall. It also marked the last full season under the ownership of Al Davis, who died in October 2011. The Raiders had improved from a five-win season, their first since 2002, and achieved their first non-losing season since losing Super Bowl XXXVII on January 26, 2003. However, the team missed the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. The Raiders picked 8th in the 2010 NFL Draft. There were no blacked-out home games after the early part of the season and the team won all six of their division matches, including a franchise-record 59 points in Denver. The Raiders became the first team in NFL history to go undefeated in their division and still not make the playoffs.

The season was notable not only because the Raiders swept their division, but every victory came against a rival. The Raiders recorded home victories against the Seahawks, their former division foes from 1977 to 2001, and the Rams, whom the Raiders used to have a rivalry with during their time in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994.

Charlie Frye

Charles Thomas Frye (born August 28, 1981) is a former American football quarterback and current quarterbacks coach at Central Michigan. He was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Akron.

Eric Zeier

Eric Royce Zeier (born September 6, 1972) is a former American football quarterback. In his six years in the NFL, he played for the Cleveland Browns (1995), Baltimore Ravens (1996–1998), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1999–2000). He is a former record-setting quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate at the University of Georgia, where he set 67 school records and 18 S.E.C. records. In 1994, he became the most prolific passer in the history of the Southeastern Conference as well as only the third quarterback in NCAA Division I history to throw for more than 11,000 yards in his career. He earned All-Academic S.E.C. honors in 1992 and 1993 and was named UGA Team Captain in 1993 and 1994.

Zeier continues his affiliation with UGA by serving as the color analyst at away games for the University of Georgia Bulldogs radio network and during the Tailgate Show and half time during home games. He currently resides in his hometown of Marietta, Georgia.

Gino Gradkowski

Gino Gradkowski (born November 5, 1988) is an American football center who is currently a free agent. He played college football at the University of Delaware. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Jason Campbell

Jason S. Campbell (born December 31, 1981) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at Auburn. Campbell also played for the Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals.

Jeff Christensen

Jeffrey Bruce Christensen (born January 8, 1960) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. He played college football for the Eastern Illinois Panthers. His son played college football at Iowa and Eastern Illinois.

List of Cleveland Browns starting quarterbacks

The Cleveland Browns are a professional American football team in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) North division.

Since joining the NFL in 1950, the Browns have had 57 different quarterbacks start in at least one game for the team. Pro Football Hall of Fame member Otto Graham, the team's first quarterback, led the Browns to three NFL championships in their first six seasons in the league. Since resuming operations in 1999 after a three-year vacancy, the franchise has been notable for its futility at the quarterback position. From 1999 through week 4 of the 2018 season, the team had 30 different players start at quarterback. Tim Couch, the Browns' first overall draft pick in 1999, is the only quarterback in that stretch to start all 16 games in a season for the team, having done so in 2001. The Browns have started more than one quarterback in 17 consecutive seasons.

List of Oakland Raiders starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the team.

List of Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterbacks

These quarterbacks have started at least one game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Buccaneers.

List of Toledo Rockets in the NFL Draft

This is a list of Toledo Rockets football players in the NFL Draft.

Mike Rae

Michael John Rae (born July 26, 1951) is a former professional American football quarterback in the National Football League.

Ralph Cindrich

Ralph Edward Cindrich (born October 29, 1949 in Washington, PA) is a sports agent and former NFL player. A linebacker for the New England Patriots (1972), the Houston Oilers (1973, 1974, 1975) and the Denver Broncos (1974), Cindrich graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and South Texas College of Law in 1978. During his more than three-plus decades as an NFL agent, he has represented stars such as James Farrior, Bruce Gradkowski, Tarik Glenn, Jeff Blake, Brian Griese, Al Toon, Dermontti Dawson, and Will Wolford among others. As an agent, Cindrich also negotiated one of the landmark contracts in sports history, one that forever altered the salary hierarchy in the NFL, and would be prominently featured in Michael Lewis' book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.

Terry Luck

Terry Lee Luck (born December 14, 1952) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He played for the Cleveland Browns. He played college football for the Nebraska Huskers.

Toledo Rockets football statistical leaders

The Toledo Rockets football statistical leaders are individual statistical leaders of the Toledo Rockets football program in various categories, including passing, rushing, receiving, total offense, defensive stats, and kicking. Within those areas, the lists identify single-game, single-season, and career leaders. The Rockets represent the University of Toledo in the NCAA's Mid-American Conference.

Although Toledo began competing in intercollegiate football in 1916, the school's official record book considers the "modern era" to have begun in 1951. Records from before this year are often incomplete and inconsistent, and they are generally not included in these lists.

These lists are dominated by more recent players for several reasons:

Since 1951, seasons have increased from 10 games to 11 and then 12 games in length.

The NCAA didn't allow freshmen to play varsity football until 1972 (with the exception of the World War II years), allowing players to have four-year careers.

Bowl games only began counting toward single-season and career statistics in 2002. The Rockets have played in nine bowl games since this deicison, giving many recent players an extra game to accumulate statistics.

Similarly, the Rockets have appeared in the MAC Football Championship Game five times since it first began in 1997.These lists are updated through the end of the 2016 season.

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