Tommy Maddox Stats: From NFL to XFL and Back

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For all the hype and fanfare, the XFL lasted just one season. For the most part, it couldn’t compete with the NFL on any level. But a few things emerged from the XFL that made a lasting impact on the NFL: Tommy Maddox, who formed an important bridge in Pittsburgh Steelers history, and the Skycam.

Maddox attended L.D. Bell High School at Hurst, Texas in 1990, and committed to play football at UCLA. In his first two years as UCLA quarterback, Maddox totaled 5,000 passing yards and was named first-team All American in 1991. He decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the NFL draft, and was selected in the first round by the Denver Broncos.

Maddox was drafted with the 25th overall pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, and was expected to be the heir to John Elway. Unfortunately for Maddox, Elway shined in the later parts of his career, and continued starting until his retirement in 1998. After two seasons in Denver, Maddox bounced around for two years before being out of the NFL in 1997.

Maddox stepped away from the game, and sold insurance before joining the Arena League in 2000. He played for the New Jersey Red Dogs for one season, and finished with over 3,800 yards and 64 touchdowns.

When the XFL was looking for players in 2001, the eight teams were allowed to choose players based on proximity. Even though the Los Angeles Xtreme drafted Maryland QB Scott Milanovich with the first overall pick, the Xtreme added Maddox based on his UCLA experience. Maddox won the starting job in camp, and became the most prolific passer in XFL history.

XFL Stats (one season): 196/342, 2186 yards, 18 TD

The Xtreme finished the regular season 7-3, and won their two playoff games to be crowned the first and only XFL Champion. He was the only quarterback to start all 10 regular season games, and led the XFL in passing yards and touchdowns. Due to abysmal ratings, the NBC canceled the XFL after one season.

Maddox was without a team, but was coming off the best 10-game stretch of his football career. He parlayed his XFL success into an NFL job, one of the few football players to transition to the NFL.

After the XFL folded, Maddox called every team to try to get a training camp invitation. He accepted a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and signed in 2001 as a backup to Kordell Stewart.

In 2002, during his eighth season as Steelers quarterback, Stewart was benched in favor of Maddox. He went 7-3-1 during that 2002 season, and was named the starter moving forward.

His time at the top didn’t last long. Maddox went 6-10 in his only full season as an NFL starter, and didn’t inspire confidence in Steelers management. But at the end of the season, Maddox still thought he was the Steelers QB of the future.

“When I left the facility that Friday they told me they were probably going to draft an offensive linemen,” Maddox said in an interview last year. They didn’t. The Steelers selected Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, and the Maddox Era was over in Pittsburgh.

Steelers Stats (two seasons): 532/896, 6250 yards, 38 TD

Maddox started three games in 2004, but was supplanted by Roethlisberger. He filled in briefly in 2005, and won a Super Bowl ring as Roethlisberger led the team to a SBXL win over the Seahawks. The following offseason the Steelers released Maddox, and his NFL career was over.

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