American Football Database
American Football Database
Brady Poppinga
Brady Poppinga in 2008.
Free agent
Outside linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-09-21) September 21, 1979 (age 41)
Place of birth: Evanston, Wyoming
High School: Evanston (WY)
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 252 lb (114 kg)
Career information
College: Brigham Young
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 4 / Pick: 125
Debuted in 2005 for the Green Bay Packers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012
Tackles     307
Sacks     5.0
INTs     2
Stats at

Brady Paul Poppinga (born September 21, 1979) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football at BYU.

Early years

Poppinga attended Evanston High School in Evanston, Wyoming. He lettered three years in football and basketball and four years in track, and was an All-State selection at both linebacker and tight end. He was named both 4-A lineman and Wyoming Athlete of the Year as a senior while leading the team to a 9–1 record and a 4-A state title. In 1995, he earned the Eagle Scout honor.[1]

Poppinga also finished second in a 1997 high school discus competition.

College career

After graduating from high school, Poppinga served a two-year Mormon mission in Uruguay and enrolled at Brigham Young University in 2001. Poppinga quickly earned a place on the Cougar roster. He played in all 12 games of the 2001 season at defensive end, recording 10 tackles, a fumble recovery, and one pass defensed on the season. Poppinga also made a significant contribution on special teams.

Poppinga's performance as a freshman gave him even more playing time in the 2002 season, including two starts and playing time in all 12 contests. He responded with a conference-leading eight sacks, and was named to the first-team All-MWC and as an MWC All-Academic selection. Poppinga also forced three fumbles and had three quarterback pressures on the season. He was also given an award for the top defensive lineman on the BYU Cougars.

Poppinga started all 12 contests at defensive end in the 2003 season. He led the team and finished seventh in the conference in sacks with six, and was among the top players in the conference in tackles with 55 (34 solo) and once again earned All-MWC honors. One of his most notable games of the season was a September 6 contest against the Trojans of USC, in which he earned co-defensive player of the game honors for a six tackle performance that included five solo tackles and a sack of star USC quarterback Matt Leinart.

In 2004 Poppinga started every game of his senior season, shifting near the end of the season from defensive end to outside linebacker. He finished third on the team in tackles with 79 (35 solo), also accumulating six sacks and one forced fumble, and for the third time in his career was selected for first-team All-MWC honors. Poppinga was also a candidate among 58 others for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for the nation's top defensive player. He was named defensive player of the game for a September 4 contest against Notre Dame in which he posted 12 tackles (seven solo), a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Pre-draft measureables

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 3⅛ in 250 lb 4.59 s 1.64 s 2.70 s 4.39 s 7.29 s 45½ in 9 ft 2 in 25 rep 25

Professional career

Green Bay Packers

Poppinga entered the National Football League on April 24, 2005, when he was selected in the fourth round (125th overall selection) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. On July 26, 2005 Poppinga signed a four-year $2.4 million contract with the Packers.[2]

The Packers were excited about Poppinga's speed and skills as a pass rushing linebacker. However, Poppinga suffered a hamstring injury during training camp, forcing him to miss three preseason games. Because of the injury, he was unable to compete for a starting position at outside linebacker for the 2005 NFL season, and took a backup role, occasionally playing as part of a deep linebacker corps also featuring Na'il Diggs, Roy Manning, Robert Thomas and Paris Lenon.

Poppinga contributed most significantly to the 2005 season with his high-energy play as a coverage man on special teams plays, posting a team-high 22 special teams tackles through the Packers' first 13 contests. Though Poppinga never started at linebacker in 2005, he saw more and more playing time through the season due both to injuries suffered by the starting players and because of his ability as a pass-rusher. This special pass-rushing role played to Poppinga's strengths and allowed him to post two sacks during the 2005 season. His best single-game performance was an October 23 contest against Minnesota, in which he accumulated five tackles (3 solo) and one sack of Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper.

Green Bay's coaching staff was impressed by Poppinga's high motor and relentlessness on every play. He displayed both in one of the few Packer victories of the season, a 33–25 contest against the Atlanta Falcons. Though the play resulted in an Atlanta touchdown, Poppinga displayed his range and quickness by nearly running down superstar quarterback Michael Vick on a one-yard scramble into the end-zone. Poppinga's pursuit forced Vick to stretch the play all the way to the right sideline, and only Vick's speed allowed him to dive past Poppinga and over the end zone pylon. The fact that Poppinga had begun the play at the left side of the formation displayed his unrelenting attitude and sharp instincts. In August 2006 packers' linebackers coach Winston Moss said "I'll bet he sleeps with his eyes open,", referring to Poppinga's endless energy.

Poppinga's season was cut short by an ACL tear on December 11 in a game against the Detroit Lions. He received surgery for the injury on December 26, and participated in the August 2006 training camp. Though some athletes who suffer this particular injury never regain their former speed or mobility, doctors who performed surgery on Poppinga and those working on his rehabilitation were optimistic about his chances for a full recovery.

Poppinga won a starting job despite limited action in training camp due to his continuing rehabilitation from injury in 2006. He played at strong side linebacker in the 2006 season opener, alongside fellow linebackers Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk.

In his fifth start of the 2007 season, during a 27–20 loss to the Chicago Bears on October 7, 2007 Poppinga intercepted a Brian Griese pass in the fourth quarter, extending the streak of at least one Packer interception per game for the 11th consecutive game. This matched the longest streak in team history, which occurred during an 11 game stretch in 1984–1985.[3]

On July 24, 2008, the Packers signed Poppinga to a five-year $17 million extension that runs through the 2012 season. Poppinga was scheduled to make $927,000 in 2008 under the terms of the four-year deal he signed in 2005. According to his agent four years were added beyond this year.[4]

In 2008 Poppinga played all 16 games with 12 starts and recorded 68 tackles.

Poppinga was released on July 28, 2011.[5]

St. Louis Rams

On August 2, 2011, Poppinga signed with the St. Louis Rams.[6]

Dallas Cowboys

On November 25, 2012, Poppinga signed with the Dallas Cowboys.


Year Team G TTkl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def FF FR
2005 Green Bay Packers 12 28 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006 Green Bay Packers 16 60 16 1 1 21 21 21 0 4 2 0
2007 Green Bay Packers 16 50 28 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2008 Green Bay Packers 16 69 21 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
2009 Green Bay Packers 15 23 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 Green Bay Packers 6 14 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 81 244 84 5 2 21 10.5 21 0 6 2 0


Poppinga comes from a very athletic family. His father, Dennis, played as a tight end at BYU from 1968 to 1971; his brother Casey played the same position at Utah State University and appeared on the practice squads of the Seattle Seahawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2004 NFL season; his brother Kelly played linebacker at BYU, signed with the St. Louis Rams, and now is the linebackers coach at BYU;[7] and his older sister Tara played volleyball at Utah State.

Poppinga received a bachelor's degree in business management at BYU. While in college he did some work as a motivational speaker at a school for troubled teenagers, and taught Sunday school in his church organization in Provo, Utah. He is bilingual (English and Spanish) as a result of his missionary experience in Uruguay.

He married Brooke Hubbard in 2002; the couple has a daughter, Jasmine, 6, and a son, Julius Maximus, 4

On February 15, 2008, Poppinga appeared with Senator Barack Obama in support of his presidential campaign in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


Poppinga was the Packers' 2007 nominee, and one of 32 finalists, for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, honoring contributions for both humanitarianism and performance on the field.

Poppinga is extremely involved with his church. He postponed his college football career for two seasons while serving as a missionary in Uruguay, South America. He currently acts as a youth leader, giving hour-long motivational and moral lessons weekly as well as supporting other youth activities. He has given a fireside on faith, family and football, an event that was open to the entire community.

Poppinga has supported the Boy Scouts of America by way of a public service announcement, for which he recorded both an English and Spanish version. In the same way, he has lent his support to the American Family Insurance Military Cap Campaign[8] by shooting various promos. Poppinga also recorded an intro for one of the units included in the Green Bay Packers Fit Kids program.[9] He was a participant in the All-Pro Dad event,[10] encouraging fathers to become more involved in their children's lives.

Poppinga has hosted a football camp, "The Poppinga Football Experience," in Utah, as well as a charity fundraiser football camp in Wyoming for a Children's Hospital.[11] He has served as an instructor in several other football camps. In addition, he has supported his coach's and teammates' fundraising efforts through participation in Mark Tauscher's Trifecta Foundation[12] Annual Golf Outing, the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation[13] Annual Celebrity Softball Game,[14] the Donald Driver Foundation Dinner,[15] and the Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin[16] Green and Gold Gala,[17] an annual event hosted by Coach Mike McCarthy

Poppinga has made various monetary donations to the community and beyond. He donated hundreds of dollars worth of new toys to a local nursery, as well as autographed items to an event that benefited the memorial of a fallen Green Bay Fire Fighter.[18] He donated items to the Los Angeles Fire Department, where his brother-in-law is a fire fighter, as a contribution to a fundraiser that benefited victims of 9/11. Through the Fistula Foundation,[19] he paid for surgeries of two women in Ethiopia, and through the Invisible Children Foundation,[20] he purchased school supplies for students in Uganda. He also supported Amnesty International to assist in the case of someone who was unfairly imprisoned.


  1. "Brady Poppinga". Green Bay Packers. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  2. Silverstein, Tom (July 26, 2005) PACKERS NOTES A wait-and-see approach Meeting critical to Jackson's plans Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  3. Calhoun, George (October 9, 2007) (PDF), The Dope Sheet, IX, p. 2,
  4. Silverstein, Tom (July 24, 2008)Poppinga deal worth around $17 million for five years Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  5. Rosenthal, Gregg. "Release Tracker". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved July 29, 2011.
  6. Thomas, Jim. (August 2, 2011) LB Poppinga agrees with Rams. Stltoday.
  7. Monson, Gordon. "Monson: BYU’s Van Noy overcomes adversity, illness". Media News Group. Retrieved 8/12/11.
  8.[dead link]
  9. Green Bay[dead link]
  10. All Pro Dad
  11. charity fundraiser football camp in Wyoming for a Children's Hospital
  12. Trifecta Foundation. Trifecta Foundation.
  13. Fourward
  14. Annual Celebrity Softball Game
  15. Donald Driver Foundation[dead link]
  16. Family Services of Northeast
  17. Family Services Green and Gold Gala[dead link]
  18. Green Bay (September 24, 2012).
  19. Fistula Fistula
  20. Invisible Children Foundation

External links