Check out photos of quarterback Bruce Gradkowski from the 2013 season.
Bruce Gradkowski walked into the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Monday morning with a smile on his face, a skip in his step and his Steelers gear in his hand.
And it was for good reason.
Gradkowski, who was a free agent, was re-signed a one-year contract to return to the team.
"It's great to be back," said Gradkowski. "I have been here the last three years, I see what we have going on. We are so close. We have the talent. It's exciting. You feel it in the air. This is where I wanted to be. I didn't want to be anywhere else. I just want to win a Super Bowl. I am excited to be back. There are a lot of good guys in the locker room, a great team. You want to stay around that. Anything I can do to help, I will do."
Gradkowski is entering his 11th season in the NFL, his fourth with his hometown Steelers team. He missed the 2015 season, spending the year on injured reserve, but is back to full strength and ready to go.
"I feel good, better than I have in a long time," said Gradkowski. "I did different stuff with my diet and workouts. I feel great. I am just excited to be back and get back to the grind with these guys."
Last season wasn't an easy one for Gradkowski, sitting back and being a spectator, but he credits the coaches for keeping him involved.
"It was definitely tough," said Gradkowski. "Any time you have an injury you feel helpless. I thank Coach (Mike) Tomlin, Randy (Fichtner) and Todd (Haley) for letting me stay around and be a part of it. I felt like I was able to help during the year. I was like a mini-coach. You want to help the guys, especially the young guys."
Gradkowski has played in 37 games, including 20 starts, in his career and thrown for 4,057 passes with 21 touchdowns. He said his role hasn't been defined yet, but he is ready to do whatever is asked and work with quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Landry Jones and Dustin Vaughn.
"We just come in and compete," said Gradkowski. "I think Landry did some great things last year. He is a young guy. Anything I can do to help to continue his development. He is a good football player. However it shapes out, it shapes out. I want to add value any way I can. Ben is a special talent. I have never been around a quarterback like him. It just raises our level of play."