Mike Gruttadauria

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Mike Gruttadauria
Date of birth: (1972-12-06) December 6, 1972 (age 41)
Place of birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Career information
Position(s): Center
College: UCF
NFL Draft: 1995 / Round:
Organizations
As player:
1996-1999
2000-2002
St. Louis Rams
Arizona Cardinals
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Michael Jason Gruttadauria (born December 6, 1972 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) is a former center (American football) who played eight seasons in the National Football League with the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals.

NFL center[edit]

Michael was an undrafted free agent to the Dallas Cowboys in 1995. He was able to land a practice squad spot, but was released with the entire practice squad when the Cowboys signed Deon Sanders. In 1996 Gruttadauria became the starting center of the St. Louis Rams. Though Gruttadauria entered each year with the Rams as the starter, injuries and knee surgeries limited his starts. He was injured himself through most of the 1998 season but returned strong in 1999, starting all 16 games for the Super Bowl-winning team. He then signed a lucrative contract as a free agent for the Arizona Cardinals in 2000, but, because of injuries, played only half the year in 2000 and 2002, his final year, though he played 15 games in 2001.

In the 1999-00 NFL playoffs, with Kurt Warner at quarterback, St. Louis led the NFL with 526 points (32.9 points/game) and finished with a 13-3 won-lost mark, best in the NFC west division. In the divisional round, the Rams beat the Minnesota Vikings, amassing 374 net passing yards thanks to excellent pass protection, despite 2 sacks for 17 yards lost. Gruttadauria with guards Tom Nütten and Adam Timmerman as well as tackles Orlando Pace and Fred Miller continued to protect Warner effectively in the NFC championship game, squeezing past the excellent defense of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-6. Though pitted against Warren Sapp and Brad Culpepper at defensive tackle, Gruttadauria and the rest of the line did not allow a sack and gained 258 net passing yards. In Super Bowl XXXIV, the Rams won another squeaker against the Tennessee Titans 23-16, with 407 net passing yards (1 sack for 7 yards lost) and a mere 29 rushing yards. Some of the success of that team was due to the strategy of the center occasionally snapping the ball very quickly back to Warner, catching the opposing defensive line off-guard.

In 2001 Gruttadauria was awarded the ED BLOCK Award.

External links[edit]