Maddox gets ring, eyes career in pro golf
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tommy Maddox stopped by the Steelers' UPMC offices yesterday to pick up his Super Bowl ring. It may be his final act in football.
Maddox, the only player from the Super Bowl champions not to attend the team's ring ceremony Sunday night at Heinz Field, arrived yesterday to close on the sale of his Butler County house. He made a quick visit to the South Side to get his mail, say a few goodbyes and add to his jewelry collection.
He explained missing the ceremony because of his schedule. He also did not accompany the team to the White House Friday.
Like Jerome Bettis, Maddox may go out on top in football except it's not wholly his decision. Since the Steelers released him in early March, he remains a free agent, although he visited several teams.
"It's not a bad way to go out," said Maddox, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Springlake, Texas.
There's always a chance a team will call because of an injury to a quarterback in training camp or later, but Maddox won't wait eagerly by the telephone.
"You always leave doors open, but it would really have to be a good opportunity in the right spot. My daughter's in junior high now, so she wants to be in one place.
"The thing that's nice about winning a Super Bowl is that at my age you can kind of be picky and see what you want to do."
His football days may be over, but his playing days are not. Maddox, 34, wants to try his hand at professional golf. He just missed qualifying for the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Championship in Texas in May. He hopes to compete in the Nationwide Tour, where mostly younger players try to make it to the PGA Tour.
"I'm excited. It's been good. I played in a couple of events in Texas and almost qualified for the Nelson. I've got a couple of Nationwide Tour [stops] coming up."
The Steelers' starting quarterback from 2002 until an elbow injury in the second game of the 2004 season opened the door for Ben Roethlisberger, Maddox was the team's backup quarterback last season until he replaced an injured Roethlisberger and played poorly in a loss against Jacksonville Oct. 16. Charlie Batch moved ahead of him after that, although Maddox started a Nov. 20 game in Baltimore because of injuries to Batch and Roethlisberger.
The Steelers re-signed Batch this year and released Maddox to make room for a rookie quarterback at No. 3. Maddox has visited the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders, but came away empty-handed from each visit.
"I talked with Tampa Bay, I've talked to everybody," Maddox said. "If I play, it would have to be really the right situation."
Maddox passed for 3,414 yards in 2003, second most in team history behind Terry Bradshaw's 3,724 in 1979. His 473 yards passing against the Atlanta Falcons in an overtime tie Nov. 10, 2002 beat the previous club record by 64 yards.