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Tom Tupa
Position(s)
Punter
Quarterback
Jersey #(s)
19, 7, 9
Born February 6, 1966 (1966-02-06) (age 43)
Cleveland, Ohio
Career information
Year(s) 19882005
NFL Draft 1988 / Round: 3 / Pick: 68
College Ohio State
Professional teams
Career stats
Punts 873
Punting yards 37,862
Punting average 43.4
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards

Thomas Joseph Tupa, Jr. (born February 6, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football punter and quarterback in the National Football League.

Contents

Personal life and high school career

Perhaps in a sign of things to come, Tupa participated in the NFL's Punt, Pass, and Kick contest, and was a semi-finalist three times, winning once. Tupa played mostly quarterback at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School; he led his team to the state championship while also lettering in basketball (where he averaged 20.8 points per game) and baseball (where he was a pitcher and shortstop).

While in high school, Tupa played on the same basketball team as former NBA head coach Eric Musselman and former NBA forward Scott Roth.

Professional career

Tupa was drafted in the third round (68th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Phoenix (now Arizona) Cardinals. During his rookie year, he was used exclusively as a quarterback, playing in two games and completing 4-of-5 passes for 49 yards. His second season with the team saw an expanded role. He started two games at QB, while registering six punts for 46.7 yards per punt. After spending the entire 1990 season as strictly a holder on kicks, he was the primary quarterback for the Cardinals the following year, playing in 11 games and throwing six touchdowns to 13 interceptions. He then joined the Indianapolis Colts in 1992, playing as a backup quarterback to Jack Trudeau and Jeff George.

That season also marked the last time Tupa was used regularly as a quarterback; since then he almost exclusively punted, with only emergency occasions or trick plays making use of his throwing skills. Tupa sat out the 1993 NFL season, having been cut by the Cleveland Browns right before the season. However, he was re-signed by the Browns the following year and stayed with them for two seasons as their starting punter. He joined the New England Patriots in 1996 and played for them for three years. In 1999, Tupa signed with the New York Jets. It was during this season that Tupa received his first invitation to the Pro Bowl. He also made his first pass attempt since 1996, and went 6-of-11 for 165 yards and two touchdowns. 2002 saw Tupa sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he was their punter on their road to Super Bowl XXXVII, where they defeated the Oakland Raiders. Before the start of the 2004 NFL season, Tupa signed with the Washington Redskins. In 2004, he was named as a Pro Bowl second alternate. He spent 2005 on the injured reserve list, and did not appear in a game.

Tupa announced his retirement from pro-football in the spring of 2006. In February 2006, he was appointed as the recreation director of Brecksville, Ohio.[1]

Tupa scored the first two-point conversion in NFL history, running in a faked extra point attempt for the Browns in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first week of the 1994 season. He scored a total of three such conversions that season, earning him the nickname "Two Point Tupa."

The final pass of Tupa's career was thrown in overtime of the 2002 season-opener against the New Orleans Saints during a punt attempt from the Buccaneer's five yard line. Pressure from a Saints defender forced Tupa to abort the punt attempt and throw a desperation pass with his non-throwing arm which was intercepted by a Saints defender and returned for a touchdown, ending the game.

He is a first cousin of Colorado Democratic State Senator and Majority Caucus Leader Ron Tupa.

References

External links

  • [1] Tom Tupa at NFL.com
  • [2] Tom Tupa at Redskins.com
Preceded by
Jim Karsatos
Ohio State Buckeyes
Starting Quarterbacks
1987
Succeeded by
Greg Frey
Preceded by
Timm Rosenbach
Phoenix Cardinals Starting Quarterbacks
1991
Succeeded by
Stan Gelbaugh
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