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Zeke Bratkowski
Zeke Bratkowski 080607-F-3755D-005.jpg
Bratkowski in June 2008
Jersey #(s)
Born October 20, 1931 (1931-10-20) (age 78)
Danville, Illinois
Career information
Year(s) 19541971
NFL Draft 1953 / Round: 2 / Pick: 17
College Georgia
Professional teams
*Inactive and/or practice squad member only
Career stats
TD-INT 65-122
Yards 10,345
QB Rating 54.3
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Edmund Raymond "Zeke" Bratkowski (born October 20, 1931 in Danville, Illinois) is a former All-American quarterback at the University of Georgia from 1952 to 1953. He also had a fourteen year career in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, L.A. Rams and Green Bay Packers, followed by a 26-year coaching career. He is the father of current Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski.

Playing career

Bratkowski began his playing career at Schlarman High School. He was twice the SEC passing leader under Georgia coach Wally Butts. During his three year career with the Bulldogs, he completed 360 passes for 4,863 yards. Bratkowski was considered one of college football's greatest quarterbacks of his day and was the NCAA's all-time leading passer until 1961. Today, Bratkowski still ranks sixth on Georgia's list of career passing leaders. He also led the NCAA in punting his senior year with a 42.6 yard average.

He was drafted by the Chicago Bears and played five seasons in Chicago. He played for the Los Angeles Rams for three years before being signed by Vince Lombardi for the $100 waiver fee to become the "super sub" to Bart Starr. In Green Bay, he was nicknamed "Uncle Zekie." He became an ideal backup and spot starter during the Lombardi championship era. In a 15 year year NFL career, Bratkowski passed for 10,345 yards and 65 touchdowns.

In the 1965 Western Division championship game versus the Baltimore Colts, Bratkowski relieved the injured Bart Starr and led the Packers to a 13-10 victory. The Packers went on to win the 1965 NFL Championship against the Cleveland Browns, in a game played on January 2, 1966.

A superbly conditioned athlete, Bratkowski was an early advocate of aerobic training for pro football players. After his playing career, he served two stints as Packer assistant coach, from 1969-’70 and from 1975-’81. He also coached the Browns, Rams, Jets and Eagles, retiring in 1996.

Coaching career

After his playing career, Bratkowski became quarterback coach/offensive coordinator for Chicago, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and with the New York Jets. He was also a quarterbacks coach with Cleveland and the Jets and worked two stints as a Packers assistant as well as the Baltimore Ravens.

While Bratkowski was coaching the Chicago Bears quarterbacks during the 1973 season, head coach Abe Gibron abruptly promoted him to offensive coordinator. Gibron shortly after pressed him into service for one game as a backup quarterback.

Halls of fame

He was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1989.

Preceded by
Ed Brown
Chicago Bears Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Billy Wade
Preceded by
Bill Wade
Los Angeles Rams Starting Quarterbacks
1961 – 1963
Succeeded by
Roman Gabriel
Preceded by
Rich Kotite
Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator
Succeeded by
Jon Gruden


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