This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Date of birth:||September 15, 1971|
|Place of birth:||Waukegan, Illinois|
|NFL Draft:||1994 / Round: 5 / Pick: 155|
|Career NFL statistics|
Bratzke played college football at Eastern Kentucky University. His career stats included 253 tackles (150 solo), 27 sacks and six posted 87 tackles (57 solo), 11 sacks and two fumble recoveries as a senior. He was named Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Year and Kodak All-America. He earned OVC All-Defense honors as a junior after totaling 71 tackles (36 solo), nine sacks and one fumble recovery. Even in his beginnings he made sound having 80 tackles (47 solo), six sacks and two fumble recoveries as a sophomore and totaled 15 tackles (ten solo), one sack and one fumble recovery as a freshman.
Bratzke played ten seasons in the NFL, five for the New York Giants and five for the Indianapolis Colts. He signed as unrestricted free agent from the Giants on March 1, 1999. He was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 1994 NFL Draft.
In 2002, Bratzke started 16 games for defense that ranked seventh in the NFL in points allowed, eighth in overall defense. He started every contest for the third time in four years with the franchise (1999, 2000) and has started all 63 appearances. He helped team establish a formidable pass rush with two sacks and five quarterback pressures in the first two games at Jacksonville and vs. Miami. Bratzke started first eight games at RE, then started seven of last eight games at LE, while opening at LT at Cleveland. His action at Cleveland was first career time at tackle. He had 70 tackles (49 solo), six sacks, 30 QB pressures, five fumbles forced, three batted passes, one pass defensed and one fumble recovered. QB pressures ranked second on the team, while tackles ranked seventh. He had stops in every contest with four or more tackles in 13 games and had six tackles, one sack and one forced fumble at Jacksonville. Bratzke forced one fumble and had one sack and four solo stops vs. Miami. He had one sack vs. Baltimore, and one sack and one forced fumble vs. Dallas. He made his first career start at defensive tackle and had six tackles, one sack, one forced fumble and two QB pressures at Cleveland as the team rallied with goal-line stand after overcoming 16-point deficit. He had six tackles (four solo) vs. NYG. He has totaled 45 of 53.5 career sacks since 1998. He has eleven career multiple-sack games. His 12 sacks in 1999 stands as one of seven double-digit individual sack seasons in franchise history (13.0, Dwight Freeney, 2002; 11.5, LB-Johnie Cooks, 1984; 11.0, LB-Vernon Maxwell, 1983; 10.0, DE-Jon Hand, 1989; 10.5, DE-Tony Bennett, 1995; 10.5, DE-Dan Footman, 1997). He had posted four straight seasons with 80+ tackles (80, 1998; 81, 1999; 93, 2000; 80, 2001) until having 70 in 2002. He has had two three-sack games with Colts (12/19/99 vs. Washington; 1/6/02 vs. Denver), one of nine Colts with a three-sack game since sacks became official in 1982, and it has been accomplished only 14 times during that span.
Bratzke attended Palos East Elementary School, where he was best friends with Jeff Aird. His family moved to Florida when he was seven. Bratzke attended Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Florida. He has made sizable donation to Eastern Kentucky University to build the Student Athlete Academic Success Center. He is currently heavily involved with CLF (Childhood Leukemia Foundation) and Joy’s House. He has made several appearances on Colts 2000 Care-A-Van tours. Bratzke also participated in the last two Reggie Bowls to benefit Reggie Miller Foundation and has been on the winning team both times.