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Gradkowski happy to play supporting role

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PITTSBURGH (AP) - Bruce Gradkowski knew there was a chance he would one day take snaps with the first team at Heinz Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback didn't anticipate it happening so soon. Gradkowski practiced with the starters during organized team activities on Thursday while Ben Roethlisberger recovers from minor surgery on his right knee.

Roethlisberger is expected to be ready when training camp begins in July, but Gradkowski understands he may get an opportunity to play. Roethlisberger has missed at least one start in each of that last three years because of injury or disciplinary issues.

The 30-year-old Gradkowski is a Pittsburgh native and has spent his 7-year NFL career bouncing between four teams. He says he's happy to be back in his hometown and is hoping for some stability.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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