||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2009)|
Spaeth in the 2011 NFL season.
No. 89 Pittsburgh Steelers
|Date of birth:November 24, 1983|
|Place of birth: St. Michael, Minnesota|
|High school: St. Michael–Albertville (MN)|
|NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 3 / Pick: 77|
|Debuted in 2007 for the Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Matt Spaeth (born November 24, 1983) is an American football tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Chicago Bears. He played college football at Minnesota.
Spaeth won 2006's John Mackey Award as college football's best tight end.
Spaeth graduated from Saint Michael–Albertville High School in 2002, where he played both football and basketball. St Michael was in the Wright County Conference at the time. Spaeth holds multiple records at St. Michael–Albertville in both sports. As a three-year starter in basketball he set records for most rebounds in a game (23), most steals in a game (8), most points in a career (1359), most career rebounds (804).
Spaeth played college football at Minnesota. In 2003 Matt started the season as a reserve, but was inserted into the starting lineup when starter Ben Utecht got injured. Spaeth went on to start 10 games where he had 12 catches for 98 yards and was named to the Sportingnews.com and Rivals.com Freshman All-American team.
In 2004 Matt increased his production to 24 catches for 298 yards and 4 TD's. He started every game was an honorable mention pick to the All-Big Ten Team.
In 2005 Spaeth again started every game, hauling in 26 catches for 333 yards and 4 TD's. He was named to the All-Big Ten First team.
2006 was the most productive season of Spaeth's career. Despite playing the last month of the season with a separated shoulder, Matt went on to get career highs in receptions (47) & receiving yards (564), and tied his career high in touchdowns (4). For the second consecutive year, he was named to the All-Big Ten First team, and in December was named a First Team All American. He was also awarded the team's Bronko Nagurski Most Valuable Player Award. Spaeth did not play in the Insight Bowl on December 29 because of an injured shoulder.
Spaeth was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Spaeth started the season primarily on the goal line package and special teams. Spaeth's first catch in the NFL was a touchdown – catching a 5-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger in the Steelers' 34-7 win over the Cleveland Browns on September 9, 2007. When second-string tight end Jerame Tuman was placed on injured reserve, Spaeth was promoted to second-string.
Spaeth caught 5 passes for 34 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 2007 NFL season.
In the 2008 season, Spaeth added 17 more catches to his career and 136 yards during the regular season. Along with both an increase in catches and yards, Spaeth also played in Super Bowl XLIII where he had one catch for six yards. The Steelers went on to win 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals. In 2009, Spaeth had 5 catches for 25 yards and 1 touchdown.
As an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season, Spaeth signed with the Chicago Bears, who then traded away tight end Greg Olsen. Spaeth scored his first touchdown catch with the Bears in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons on a one-yard pass from Jay Cutler.
On March 13, 2013, Spaeth was released by the Bears, being the last Bear to wear number 89, which was retired on December 8, 2013, in honor of tight end and Super Bowl XX winning head coach Mike Ditka.
Second stint with Steelers
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- "NFL Game Center: Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals - 2008 Super Bowl". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Matt Spaeth (1983-11-24). "Matt Spaeth: Career Stats at". Nfl.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Bears sign Matt Spaeth, put Greg Olsen on block". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Acquisition Tracker". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- Hamnik, Al (2011-09-11). "Bears' Spaeth keeps it in the family with first TD catch". Nwitimes.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- McClure, Vaughn (2013-03-13). "Bears cut Davis, Spaeth; Toeaina set to be released". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-03-13.
- Wilkening, Mike (2013-03-15). "Steelers bring back Matt Spaeth". Profootballtalk.com. Retrieved 2013-03-16.