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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

Browns sign Gradkowski

BY MARLA RIDENOUR
AKRON BEACON JOURNAL

Former Toledo star quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has passed for 1,791 yards with nine TDs and 10 INTs in his NFL career. Former Toledo star quarterback Bruce Gradkowski has passed for 1,791 yards with nine TDs and 10 INTs in his NFL career.
PETER DIANA Enlarge

BEREA, Ohio - A battered quarterback corps starting its third man in three weeks was shored up yesterday when the Browns signed free-agent Bruce Gradkowski.

The University of Toledo product and Pittsburgh native spent two seasons in Tampa Bay and started 11 games as a rookie in 2006. He went to training camp this year with the St. Louis Rams before being waived Aug. 31.

Gradkowski took the roster spot of Derek Anderson, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in Sunday's loss to Indianapolis. Anderson, 13-14 as a starter over three seasons for the Browns and 3-6 this year, will not need surgery.

Also on injured reserve, quarterback Brady Quinn elected to have surgery on his fractured right index finger today in Alabama. Hand specialist Thomas Hunt will perform the operation, and Quinn is expected to need 6 to 10 weeks to recuperate.

Ken Dorsey will start Sunday as the Browns (4-8) visit the Tennessee Titans (11-1), and receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs, the former Kent State quarterback, likely will serve as his backup. Gradkowski, probably No. 3 this week, should be ready for the Browns' third Monday Night Football appearance of the season Dec. 15 at Philadelphia.

In 17 career games over two years in Tampa Bay, Gradkow-ski completed 190 of 352 passes for 1,791 yards and nine touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

The former sixth-round draft choice of the Buccaneers was waived by Tampa Bay on June 2 and was claimed by the Rams.

At Toledo, Gradkowski (6-foot-1 and 220 pounds) was the Mid-American Conference co-MVP in 2005.

In his college career, he threw for 9,225 yards with 85 touchdowns and 27 interceptions and rushed for 1,018 yards and 14 scores.

In 2003-04, he became the first quarterback in NCAA Division I-A history to complete more than 70 percent of his passes in consecutive seasons (71.2 and 70.2 percent).

He set a Division I-A record with a career completion percentage of 68.2, breaking the mark of 67.1 held by Kentucky's Tim Couch.

In another roster move by the Browns, offensive lineman Travis Leffew was released from the practice squad and replaced by receiver Steve Sanders, a Cleveland native and Bowling Green product who was let go last week.



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