Maddox with the Steelers in 2005
|No. 8, 12|
|Date of birth:||September 2, 1971|
|Place of birth:||Shreveport, Louisiana|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||219 lb (99 kg)|
|High school:||Hurst (TX) Bell|
|NFL Draft:||1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Career Arena statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
|Player stats at ArenaFan.com|
Maddox was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and raised in Hurst, Texas, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. At UCLA, Maddox played collegiately for two seasons and led UCLA to the John Hancock Bowl in 1991. The Denver Broncos drafted Maddox in the first round of the 1992 NFL Draft. Originally thought to be the successor to Broncos star quarterback John Elway, Maddox had an unimpressive record in his rookie year and saw limited playing time in his early NFL career. Before the 1994 season, the Broncos traded Maddox to the Los Angeles Rams, and Maddox would later join the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Atlanta Falcons. Maddox played under coach Dan Reeves with the Broncos, Giants, and Falcons.
After being released by the Atlanta Falcons in 1997, Maddox became an insurance agent before making a comeback in professional football with the New Jersey Red Dogs of the Arena Football League in 2000. Maddox later became starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Xtreme of the XFL, a league that folded after two seasons. With the Xtreme, Maddox led the team to the Million Dollar Game championship and became league MVP for the season. Later that year, Maddox signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Originally as backup to Kordell Stewart, Maddox became the Steelers' starting quarterback in 2002 and led the Steelers to a 10–5-1 record and a postseason run. For his achievements in 2002, the NFL named Maddox Comeback Player of the Year. After a 6–10 season in 2003, and an injury in week 2 against the Ravens in the 2004 season, Maddox again became a backup quarterback to Steelers first-round draft pick and future Pro Bowler Ben Roethlisberger. In this backup role, Maddox earned a Super Bowl ring when Pittsburgh won Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season, beating the Seattle Seahawks. The 2005 season was also his final season as a professional football player. After retiring from football, Maddox became a youth baseball coach in his native Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Maddox graduated from L. D. Bell High School at Hurst, Texas in 1990. At L. D. Bell, Maddox lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. As a senior, he was team captain, and was named the Southwest Texas Offensive Player of the Year, District Most Valuable Player, and the Area Most Valuable Player.
Maddox played two seasons (1990–1991) of college football as quarterback at UCLA. In 1990, Maddox completed 182 of 327 (55.7%) of his passes for 2,682 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. UCLA went 5–6 in 1990. The following season, Maddox led UCLA to a 9–3 record and the John Hancock Bowl title with a 209-for-343 (60.9%) completion rate for 2,681 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. In his two years with UCLA, Maddox became the first Pac-10 player to pass 5,000 yards by sophomore year and won first-team All-American honors in 1991. In a Friday night news conference on January 31, 1992, Maddox announced his intention to declare for the 1992 NFL Draft, reading from a prepared statement: "While I fully understand that another year or two at UCLA would be enjoyable and beneficial to my development, I feel that it is time for me to stand on my feet as a man and take on the opportunities offered by the NFL." Maddox also announced his upcoming marriage and further explained: "Playing in the NFL has been a dream of mine since childhood, and it's a gut feeling that the time is now right."
Maddox was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round (25th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft. Covering the draft for television, Joe Theismann commented that Maddox should have stayed at UCLA for another year.
His selection by the Broncos did not sit well with Elway, for two reasons. One, the Broncos had greater needs at several other positions, which Elway felt should have been addressed with their first pick instead of using it on Maddox. Second, Elway was in his prime and still seven years away from his retirement in 1999, so selecting a successor so soon was extremely premature. However, Elway understood that Maddox had no control over the Broncos selection and was always professional in dealing with him, doing what he could to incorporate Maddox into the Broncos system. Maddox was expected to succeed John Elway as starting quarterback. As a rookie, Maddox was served by coach Dan Reeves. Maddox took his first snaps during the Week 6 (October 6) game against the Washington Redskins, completing 2-of-8 passes for 10 yards and one interception in the 34–3 loss. In that game, Maddox became the youngest NFL quarterback to complete a pass since Elmer Angsman in 1946. Maddox took over the week 11 (November 15) game after starting quarterback John Elway left with a shoulder injury and led the Broncos to a 27–13 victory over the New York Giants. Maddox would start the following four games from weeks 12-to-15, all losses. In his debut start in the week 12 24–0 loss to the Los Angeles Raiders, Maddox went 18-of-26 (69.2%) for 207 yards and two interceptions (both by Terry McDaniel), was sacked four times, and committed three fumbles (including one lost). Maddox only learned that he would start three hours before kickoff. The Los Angeles Times account of the game reported: "Every time Denver moved the ball, Maddox would be pressured, sacked or simply dropped the ball."
Under coach Wade Phillips, Maddox played all games in 1993 as the placekicker's holder. On Week 14 (December 5), in a 13–10 loss to the San Diego Chargers, Maddox completed one pass for one yard to linebacker Dave Wyman in a fake field goal attempt.
On August 27, 1994, the Los Angeles Rams traded a fourth-round 1995 NFL Draft pick to the Broncos and acquired Maddox, as the salary cap forced the Broncos to trade backup quarterback Maddox. Initially, Maddox was the Rams' third-string quarterback behind Chris Miller and Chris Chandler. With the Rams in 1994, Maddox played in five games as placekick holder and played as quarterback in two of those games. In a 5–8 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Week 5 (October 2), Maddox was 7-for-15 in completed passes for 86 yards and 2 interceptions. In Week 12 (November 20), Maddox completed 3 out of 4 passes for one 55-yard drive to set up a field goal. This drive included a career-long 39-yard pass to Todd Kinchen. The Rams finished the 1994 season 4–12 and would move to St. Louis next season.
Three days after the St. Louis Rams released him, Maddox signed as a free agent with the New York Giants on August 30, 1995, playing again under coach Dan Reeves. Maddox served as Dave Brown's backup and played all 16 games as the placekick holder. In three games, Maddox replaced Brown as quarterback. Maddox replaced an injured Brown in the second half of the Week 7 (October 15) game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Although Maddox completed his first pass, Maddox finished 6-for-23 for 49 yards, three interceptions, and one sack in the 17–14 loss. In the Week 12 (November 19) game, again against the Eagles, Maddox took over for Brown, late in the fourth quarter. Maddox was sacked once for four yards and lost one fumble.
In the Giants' 24–17 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first exhibition game of 1996, Maddox played during the second half. In that game, Maddox fumbled his first snap from the line of scrimmage, and the Jaguars recovered that fumble. Maddox would repeat this mistake twice but would lead the game-winning drive.
Maddox started the second exhibition game of 1996, but the Giants lost that game 37–27 to the expansion Baltimore Ravens. Maddox was 5-of-10 for 42 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and two fumbles. The Giants released Maddox on August 20, 1996.
Maddox again joined coach Dan Reeves with the Atlanta Falcons but was released after training camp on August 18, 1997. In a preseason 35–31 loss to the Washington Redskins on August 16, Maddox completed only 4-of-11 passes for 35 yards and threw an interception during a potential game-winning drive.
On November 17, 1997, Maddox became an insurance agent with Allstate based in Dallas. In 1999, NFL Films did a feature on Maddox. While in Dallas, Maddox continued practicing football regularly and was a volunteer coach with his alma mater L. D. Bell High School.
After getting a phone call from the New Jersey Red Dogs of the Arena Football League in 1999, Maddox sold his insurance office and joined the team. With the Red Dogs, Maddox completed 284-of-490 passes for 3,800 yards, 64 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Maddox became the starting quarterback for the XFL team Los Angeles Xtreme during the first week of the season, despite the team using its first pick in the XFL Draft on quarterback Scott Milanovich. Maddox made an impact in his time in the XFL. He was the only quarterback of the league to start all 10 regular season games, led the league in passing yards, touchdowns, rushed for two touchdowns, and led the Xtreme to the Million Dollar Game, also known as the "Big Game At The End." The Xtreme defeated the San Francisco Demons with a score of 38–6. Maddox was named the XFL MVP in 2001. The XFL folded after its inaugural 2001 season.
Maddox signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001 as backup to Kordell Stewart. His first game action was in Week 7 (October 29) in a 34–7 win over the Tennessee Titans, in which Maddox completed one 57-yard pass to Troy Edwards. In the final game of the season on Week 17 (January 6, 2002), Maddox completed 6-of-8 passes for 97 yards, a touchdown pass to Bobby Shaw, an interception, a sack, and an eight-yard rush. The 2001 Steelers finished 13–3 and first in the American Football Conference Central Division and lost the AFC Championship game to eventual Super Bowl XXXVI champion New England Patriots.
In Week 4 September 29, Maddox replaced Kordell Stewart at quarterback and led a come from behind win against the Cleveland Browns. With 2:02 left in regulation, Maddox ended a seven-play, 84-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress to tie the game. Steelers coach Bill Cowher officially named Maddox the starter on September 16, 2002. Maddox started his first NFL game since 1992 against the New Orleans Saints, which was a 32–29 loss. He went 22-for-38 passing, Maddox threw for 268 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He was sacked four times for 24 yards and lost a fumble. In Week 6 (October 13), Maddox won his third start with the Steelers in a 34–7 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Maddox was 16-for-25 for 216 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, and two sacks.
The Steelers played a Monday Night Football game on Week 7 with a 28–10 win over the Indianapolis Colts and quarterback Peyton Manning. Maddox passed 25-for-33 for 305 yards, three touchdowns and led the Steelers to touchdowns for the team's first three drives. Since an 0–2 start under Kordell Stewart, the Steelers had gone 4–1 under Maddox.
In Week 10 (November 10), the Steelers tied against the Atlanta Falcons, 34–34, the first tied NFL game since 1997. Maddox passed for 473 yards on 28-for-41 passing with four touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked once for three yards and rushed twice for seven yards. In the final drive of overtime, Maddox completed a 60-yard pass to Plaxico Burress that was ultimately one yard short of a touchdown. Maddox left the Week 11 (November 17) game, a 31–23 loss to the Tennessee Titans, in an ambulance after being tripped by Lance Schulters. Kordell Stewart played the following game in Week 12 (November 24), a 29–21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, while Maddox recovered from his injuries. Coach Bill Cowher chose to start Stewart the following game. Pittsburgh would win that Week 14 (December 1) game over the Jacksonville Jaguars 25–23. Maddox returned as starter in Week 14 (December 8), but the Steelers lost to the expansion team Houston Texans 24–6 as Maddox went down with six sacks and lost a fumble and had 30-for-57 passes for 325 yards and ended the game with a 55.1 quarterback rating. Aaron Glenn, Texans cornerback, returned two Maddox interceptions for 70 and 65 yards. However, Maddox would lead the Steelers to victories in the final three games of 2002.
With 13 starts, Maddox led the Steelers into the playoffs as an aerial circus-type passing attack, with a 10–5–1 record in 2002. For the season, Maddox completed 234-of-377 passes (62.1%) for 2,836 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. He was sacked 26 times for 148 yards, rushed 19 times for 43 yards, and committed eight fumbles (with three lost fumbles). Maddox's passer rating for 2002 was 85.2.
Rallying the Steelers from a 24–7 deficit, Maddox delivered a comeback 36–33 win over the Browns at home, on 30-of-48 passing for 367 yards, and three touchdowns, in the wild card round before a 34–31 overtime loss at the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round.
Maddox led the Steelers to a Week 1 (September 7) 34–15 victory in Heinz Field over rival Baltimore Ravens and rookie quarterback Kyle Boller. With a 134.3 passer rating, Maddox completed 21-for-29 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Hines Ward caught two of the touchdowns and Jay Riemersma one. Although Maddox passed for 336 yards the following game in a Week 2 (September 14) 41–20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Maddox regressed statistically, with 28-for-47 passing, one touchdown, three interceptions, four sacks, and a 62.0 rating. In Week 3 (September 21), the Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals at home, 17–10. On 21-of-34 passing, Maddox passed for 240 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Late in the second quarter, Maddox successfully completed a trick play called "Bengal", in which on field goal formation (fourth-and-three at the 50), Maddox took the snap on his knee and passed to Jerame Tuman, who advanced 23 yards to the Bengals' nine yard line. This trick play would lead to a touchdown and Steelers 7–0 edge at halftime. With 5:54 left in the fourth quarter, the Steelers ran down the clock the point where Maddox took a knee to seal the victory. Afterwards, the Steelers would lose five in a row and fall to 2–6 for the first half of the season. The five-game losing streak included a 33–13 loss in Week 5 (October 5) to rival Cleveland Browns, the team that Pittsburgh eliminated from the previous season's playoffs. On 11-of-24 passing for 136 yards and a 29.2 passer rating, Maddox threw two interceptions and lost one fumble; Cleveland cornerback Daylon McCutcheon returned one interception 75 yards for a touchdown. At Mile High Stadium on Week 6 (October 12), Pittsburgh lost 17–14 to the Denver Broncos. This game was Maddox's first interception-free game since Week 1, but Maddox was sacked seven times for 56 yards.
Alternating wins and losses in the second half of the season, the Steelers went 4–4 to finish 2003 with a 6–10 record. Maddox completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward with nearly one minute left in the Week 13 (November 30) game against the Cincinnati Bengals and put the Steelers up 20–17, but the Bengals would score a touchdown in the final minute to win 24–20 and dash any chance that the Steelers would make the playoffs. Although Maddox broke the team record this season for most single-season completions, the Steelers offense ranked only 22nd league-wide.
In the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft, the Steelers drafted quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the 11th overall pick. The pick of Roethlisberger indicated that Maddox might have earned the lowest salary ($750,000) among all starting NFL quarterbacks. Consequently, Maddox negotiated salary raises with Steelers owner Dan Rooney before the draft.
Maddox started the first two games of 2004: a Week 1 (September 12) victory over the Oakland Raiders, 24–21, and a Week 2 (September 19) 30–13, loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Against Oakland, Maddox was 13-of-22 (59.1%) in passing for 142 yards. Maddox left the game against Baltimore with an elbow sprain in the third quarter, and Roethlisberger took over as quarterback. Roethlisberger was named the new starting quarterback as Maddox would be sidelined until November. As starter, Roethlisberger would lead Pittsburgh to a franchise-record 13-game winning streak but would go down with a rib injury during the Week 16 (December 26) 20–7 win over Baltimore, the game that marked the 13th straight win. (Baltimore defensive end Terrell Suggs caused both injuries to Maddox and Roethlisberger that forced them to leave their games against the Ravens.) Maddox played during the fourth quarter. In the game, Maddox completed one pass to Verron Haynes for no gain, and the Steelers relied mostly on running plays by Haynes, Jerome Bettis, and Hines Ward. This scheme allowed Pittsburgh to keep the ball for the last 7:45 of the game. Maddox would start the final game of the season on January 2, 2005 (Week 17) in a 29–24 win over the Buffalo Bills that eliminated the Bills from playoff contention. Maddox completed 12-of-24 passes for 120 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. The Steelers became the first AFC team in NFL history to finish the regular season with a 15–1 record. In the playoffs, the Steelers would advance to the AFC championship and lose to eventual Super Bowl XXXIX champion New England Patriots.
In October 2005, Maddox returned as starter after Roethlisberger suffered a knee injury. In Week 6 (October 16), the Steelers lost Maddox's first start of the season to the Jacksonville Jaguars 23–17 as Maddox completed only 11 of 28 passes for 154 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. In a press conference following the loss, coach Bill Cowher stated he regretted not substituting third-stringer Charlie Batch for Maddox and not having Jerome Bettis in for more running plays. Cowher would demote Maddox to third string behind Batch. Maddox's next game would be in Week 10 (November 13), a 34–21 victory over the Cleveland Browns, in which Maddox completed 4 of 7 passes for 22 yards. As Roethlisberger was undergoing knee surgery, Maddox would next start on Week 11 (November 20) against the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh lost to Baltimore 16–13 in overtime, and Maddox was 19-for-36 for 230 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and a lost fumble. Although Maddox led the game-tying touchdown drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Willie Parker, Maddox threw an interception to Terrell Suggs during the Steelers' final drive in regulation. This would be Maddox's final game of his career. The Steelers would win Super Bowl XL over the Seattle Seahawks in the postseason, but Maddox was among a handful of Steelers players, including linebacker James Harrison, who opted not to attend the ceremony at the White House honoring their Super Bowl championship. On March 3, 2006, the Steelers released Maddox for salary cap reasons.
Maddox is currently the assistant coach of the Grapevine High School Baseball Team that won the 5A Texas UIL State Championship in 2016 and an assistant coach for the Grapevine High School Football Team.
Maddox married his high school sweetheart Jennifer O'Dell in 1992. They have two children: Kacy (born 1994) and Colby (born 1999). Maddox is a Christian. In 2003, Maddox founded the Tommy Maddox Foundation for disadvantaged children.