There is little debate about the greatest Jewish football player of all time; Sid Luckman. But if there was a number two, it’d probably go to Hall of Famer and former Patriots Linebacker Andre Tippett. Tippett, a ferocious Tecmo Super Bowl player, had a stellar career. He was a 5x Pro-Bowler, 2x First Team All-Pro and Defensive Player of the Year. The former second round pick converted to Judaism when he married his wife. Today his Jewish faith is very important to him and his family. He still works for the Patriots and we are lucky enough to witness the rise of another Tippett; his son Coby. TGR caught up with the father and son duo.
1) Coby you grew up with a NFL Hall of Famer as a father; what does that mean for your play on field? People look at you differently? Added pressures?
Coby: It was awesome. I have learned a lot from my father. There are some people who are negative and positive because of my father but people know I am playing for my own name.
2) Andre, what does it mean to be watching Coby’s progress?
Andre: It’s been a lot of fun, I was fortunate to be his pop warner coach from start to finish and then observe him at the high school level. He’s gotten better at every step and turn. He’s risen to each challenge. I’m very proud to watch him play to the competition at each level.
3) What is the biggest advice you have received from your father?
Coby: “Act like you have been there before.” This goes for playing and when you score. My father has said these words to me ever since I was a little kid in pop warner.
4) Coby what is the next step for your football playing days?
Coby: I hope to be playing D1 ball next year ideally in the Big Ten somewhere. But definitely college ball.
5) Andre what have you been doing since your Hall of Fame career?
Andre: Well I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to stay with same organization I played for in the New England Patriots, I’m in my 34th year, 12 years as a professional athlete and 22 years working in the front office. I’m presently the Executive Director of Community Affairs.
6) What is it like having Robert Kraft as a boss?
Andre: It’s been amazing for me, I get to work with him on a weekly basis. The Kraft family is very philanthropic and if you understand that particular area, it’s amazing, because we get to give back and support so many great causes in the New England region. So it’s very fulfilling work.
Coby: I have known Robert Kraft since I was a young kid. He is a great mentor and takes care of everyone around him. He is like family to me.
7) What is Jewish life like in the Tippett home? Favorite holiday?
Andre:We are a very observant family and it’s important that we support our Jewish community. Our home is usually the gathering spot for all the holiday dinners, so it’s safe to say we are a very close knit group, you can find usually 25-30 people at any given holiday. We belong to Temple Sinai which is a Reform Jewish congregation. Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah are the favorite time for our family.
Coby: We celebrate all the Jewish holidays and Hanukkah is my favorite…because of the presents.
8) Coby when did you first beat your father in something athletic? Andre what was that like?
Andre: I want say he never beat me in a athletic sports, but he has all High School bragging rights in our household. I played in two High School State Championships, won one and lost one, was All-state, All-city, All-county. But he’s played in three High School State Championships, lost one and won back-to-back State titles while staying undefeated. He was All-state, All-star Catholic Conference, MVP, and Mr. Football 2015 in Massachusetts. I can go on but you get my drift, I’m a very proud father.. Ha Ha Ha
Coby: First time I beat my dad was probably playing video games in Madden. I give him a hard time about it. We are competitive.
9) Best quarterback of all-time?
Andre: For me it would have to be Dan Marino and Jim Kelly during my era!!
Coby: Tom Brady hands down!