Reporting Andrew Fillipponi
PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Bruce Gradkowski is excited to be back home in Pittsburgh even though things did not go quite as planned Sunday against the Titans.
Even more than the sting of the loss, were the significant injuries suffered by Pouncey, Stevens-Howling and Foote.
Starting the game with two free points off a Tennessee safety on the opening kickoff was certainly unique and pumped the guys up, but things seemed to go downhill from there.
Mistakes like fumbles happen during the course of the game, but overcoming them is what great teams do. Kelvin Beacham did well being put on the spot after having to take over at center. Sometimes watching tape is painful, but the silver lining is that everyone is tied for the division lead at the moment.
Gradkowski remembers not being able to show his face around Toledo after a couple losses to start the year that ended with a MAC Championship.
There were some ugly plays all over the league yesterday. Gradkowski was with the Bengals the past couple of years, but he is glad to be in a place now where the goal is more than winning a playoff game. He will help as much as he can in Cincinnati prep this week, but he will do that every week with the scout team.
The Steelers have a lot of great leaders like Keisel who lead by example and rarely let teammates forget what is at stake. Gradkowski feels fortunate to have learned from two different Grudens. Jon was in Tampa for Gradkowski’s rookie year when due to a Chris Simms injury Gradkowski started 11 games and Jay is with the Bengals as offensive coordinator.
Colin Kaepernick was able to defeat the Green Bay Packers while staying mostly in the pocket. Bruce praises the 49ers quarterback’s accuracy. These read option signal callers are more than just athletes, they can really throw.
Gradkowski says he doesn’t blame RGIII for doing anything he could to stay on the field because the future is never a sure thing. He also remembers playing with a broken throwing hand in the MAC Championship game.
Unfortunately, he re-broke the hand in the following bowl game and now he has several plates and screws keeping things where they should be.
Gradkowski is proud of Western Pennsylvania which has a rich tradition of great quarterbacks including Charlie Batch who he says “is a pro.”
Gradkowski has traveled and also has a restaurant in Toledo featuring a burger with peanut butter on it. He says he’s intrigued by what Chip Kelly will do with the Eagles and how RGIII will rebound from injury. He also likes the Texans but Rivers is a competitor for San Diego.