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Ex-Steelers QB Lands Offensive Coordinator Job

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski is becoming an offensive coordinator in the UFL.



Pittsburgh Steelers
November 9, 2014: Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (5) prior to a NFL matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ The Jets defeated the Steelers 20-13.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski is becoming an offensive coordinator in the United Football League with the St. Louis Battlehawks, the team announced on Wednesday. Last year, Gradkowski was an offensive analyst with Toledo after jumping up from the high school level. Now, he gets an opportunity to make some significant noise in the UFL to show off what he can do.

Gradkowski, 38, was a three-year starter at the University of Toledo, where he threw for 9,225 yards and 85 touchdowns. His 68.2% completion percentage is the best all time in MAC history. Gradkowski led the Rockets to a MAC championship in 2004 and was inducted into the Toledo Hall of Fame in 2012.

Gradkowski was drafted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006 and later played with the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals before joining the Steelers in 2013. His only passing attempts with the Steelers came in the 2014-15 playoffs against the Baltimore Ravens, filling in for an injured Ben Roethlisberger. Gradkowski ended his NFL career with 4,057 yards and 21 touchdowns in 37 games.

Gradkowski is a Pittsburgh native who graduated from Seton-La Salle. Over his decade-long NFL career, he traveled around the league as one of the better backups for teams to turn to throughout his entire career.

Gradkowski was not the only former Steelers player to land a coaching job in the UFL. Carnell Lake will be returning to the UFL for a second season as defensive coordinator in 2024 for the Memphis Showboats. Lake served as the defensive coordinator for the Showboats in 2023 under former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was the team’s head coach. The Showboats went 5-5 and finished in last place in the USFL South Division.

Lake, 56, spent one season in the XFL as defensive backs coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits before getting his first crack as a defensive coordinator with the Showboats. He previously served as the Steelers defensive backs coach from 2011-17. He stepped down to spend more time with his family, including his son Quentin, who attended UCLA from 2017-21 before being selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft.