J.P. Losman’s NFL career did not pan out as some experts predicted.
Losman had an up-and-down seven-year career in the NFL.
He never lived up to his potential, playing for average Buffalo Bills teams that never made the postseason.
Despite Losman’s ordeals in the National Football League, he’s now working with Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney as the team’s senior offensive analyst
Losman joins the ranks of former NFL players who are enjoying success as coaches.
J.P. Losman can thank his optimism and positive outlook in life for bringing him back to gridiron glory.
Jonathan Paul Losman was born to parents Greg and Tricia in Los Angeles, CA on March 12, 1981.
Losman’s mother Tricia was a single mother of Mexican descent who raised him and his sister Amy by herself. Her marriage ended when J.P. was just five years old.
Tricia Losman didn’t just raise her children.
She also supported her brother Eddie during her college days. When he moved out of the house, she raised five of her nephews and nieces whose ages ranged from two to eleven, per The Buffalo News.
When Losman was in his second season playing for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills in 2005, he told The Buffalo News he shared two rooms with Amy and their cousins.
His mom never slept on a bed. She always slept on a couch. Losman has lauded her sacrifice many years after that ordeal.
To make ends meet, Tricia Losman worked full-time in the customer service sector. She also worked as a part-time usher at the Great Western Forum – the old arena of the Los Angeles Lakers.
J.P. Losman considered the Great Western Forum his baby sitter, per The Buffalo News:
“The Forum was my baby sitter when I was young.”
“She’d take me to these concerts or Laker games and she’d put me in a seat where the ushers would look after me.”
To her credit, Tricia Losman never put any financial pressure on her son.
J.P. Losman told The Buffalo News in 2005 his mother never approached him when she was in dire financial straits. There were times when she’d cry when the bills piled up and that stressed him out.
As J.P. Losman grew older, he began to realize their tight financial situation. His mother never made it a big issue as she wanted him to enjoy his childhood.
Tricia Losman dubbed her son J.P. “the best big brother” to his sister and their cousins. His caring ways and exemplary lifestyle transcended his persona as a football player.
On the other hand, Greg Losman resided in Venice, CA for a time and coached J.P. in Little League baseball. Unfortunately, he wasn’t around that much during his son’s formative years.
J.P. resented his father’s absence when he was a child.
He blamed him for his misery. He even labeled his father “a horrible person,” per The Buffalo News.
Greg tried to make it up to his son. He reached out to him but he never gave him the opportunity.
It wasn’t until J.P. Losman’s late high school years at Venice High School in Los Angeles when he relented.
“It wasn’t until late high school, early college that our relationship started growing really fast,” he told The Buffalo News. “I was getting older and understanding how this world works.”
When Losman reached adolescence, he was surrounded by peers who hung out with the wrong crowd.
Instead, his life revolved around sports. He confided to The Buffalo News he hung out more with black people because they never discriminated.
Sports ran in Losman’s blood.
Losman’s maternal grandfather coached youth baseball and football. On the other hand, his dad Greg played shortstop during his high school baseball days.
Losman also had several uncles and cousins who suited up for the Venice Gondoliers, his high school football team.
He showed his uncanny leadership skills at an early age.
When Losman was barely five or six years old, he’d yell at his flag football and baseball teammates because they were slacking off.
@hamishneal That would be the Venice Gondoliers, from my old 'hood. Ex-NFL quarterback JP Losman was a star there.
— Ed Wyatt (@edwyatt) November 27, 2013
On the day Losman met Gondoliers’ head football coach Angelo Gasca, he told him his goals were to play baseball and football for the UCLA Bruins.
The Gondoliers improved every year Losman, a three-year letterman, played quarterback.
They won just four games in Losman’s sophomore season. Two years later, they increased their win total to eleven.
Losman became a Parade All-American at the end of his high school football career.
PrepStar Magazine also ranked him the No. 3 quarterback in the country.
Losman also excelled in the classroom: he graduated from Venice High School with a 3.7 GPA in 1999.
He also came closer to fulfilling his dream of playing for the UCLA Bruins. The university gave him a scholarship as his high school days wound down.
Little did J.P. Losman realize he would pursue his dream of playing on the college gridiron somewhere else.
College Days With The Tulane Green Wave
J.P. Losman reported to the UCLA Bruins’ practice in the spring of 1999.
He set foot on campus soil as the Bruins’ most highly-touted prospect since Troy Aikman.
After fifteen practices and one semester with the Bruins, Losman felt something was off.
With friends and family members watching from the sidelines, Losman didn’t feel like a college freshman.
Instead, he felt he was stuck at Venice High School.
“I love my family to death, but I needed to get away,” Losman told ESPN’s Bruce Feldman in July 2012. “I wasn’t growing up.”
Losman told The Buffalo News his family and friends were against the idea of him scoping out other universities in the country.
For his part, Losman wanted to do the exact opposite of what they were telling him.
While Losman’s change of heart didn’t sit well with his mother Tricia at first, she realized it was a turning point in his life: he became more independent and mature.
When Losman officially bid adieu to UCLA, he touched base with the Miami Hurricanes, Fresno State Bulldogs, Purdue Boilermakers, Michigan Wolverines, and Kansas State Wildcats.
He never committed to any of these teams.
Instead, Losman clicked with Tulane Green Wave head football coach Chris Scelfo.
Attending Tulane University was one of the best decisions J.P. Losman ever made in his life.
“I never would have grown as much as I did at Tulane if I went to UCLA,” he told The Buffalo News.
J.P. Losman majored in classical studies with a minor in media arts at Tulane.
He redshirted the remainder of the 1999 NCAA season because of NCAA transfer rules.
Fortunately, Losman didn’t lose a year of eligibility.
The Green Wave won just three games in 1999.
Losman played behind starter Patrick Ramsey for two seasons.
Losman made his first start with the Green Wave against the East Carolina Pirates on September 16, 2000.
He completed 20 of his 35 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns in the 37-17 loss to the Pirates.
Losman was a dual-threat quarterback who made plays with both his arm and feet.
He ran for a pair of touchdowns in the Green Wave’s narrow 38-37 win against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on October 7, 2000.
JP Losman Tulane pic.twitter.com/hJ103kVIxG
— Muzz (@Mussallem) September 22, 2017
Tulane was slightly better in Scelfo’s second year at the helm.
The Green wave won six of eleven games in the 2000 NCAA season.
Losman continued excelling in academics during his college football days: he made it to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll in the fall of 2001.
However, he saw considerably less playing time as a redshirt sophomore in the 2001 NCAA campaign.
Losman took the field just three times.
Nonetheless, he made a good account of himself with 487 passing yards, four touchdowns, and just one interception.
Tulane regressed to its losing ways in Losman’s redshirt sophomore year.
The Green Wave won just three of twelve games in 2001.
Things would look up when J.P. Losman took over the reins at quarterback from Patrick Ramsey the following season.
Behind Losman’s breakout year, the Green Wave had a respectable 8-5 win-loss record in the 2002 NCAA season.
Losman completed 230 of his 401 pass attempts for a 57.4 pass completion percentage.
He also passed for 2,468 yards and 19 touchdowns in his redshirt junior campaign.
Losman had two 300-yard passing games on the season.
He passed for an even 300 yards in the 52-9 blowout win over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks on October 5, 2002.
Three weeks later, Losman exploded for 329 yards in Tulane’s 51-30 win over the Navy Midshipmen.
Losman’s five touchdown passes in that game tied a school record.
Losman continued impressing as a dual-threat signal-caller.
He rushed for six touchdowns in his first full year as the Green Wave’s starting quarterback.
His 236 rushing yards ranked second on the team behind running back Mewelde Moore.
J.P. Losman’s tear continued in the 2002 Hawaii Bowl – Tulane’s first bowl appearance in four seasons.
Losman completed 20 of his 39 pass attempts for 240 yards in the 36-28 victory over the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Christmas Day.
Losman’s nimble feet also helped save the day for Tulane.
He rushed for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the win.
Losman continued to impress during his redshirt senior season in the Big Easy.
By the time Losman took the field in 2003, he had transformed himself from a 175-lb. freshman quarterback to a 227-lb. senior signal-caller, per The Buffalo News.
September 9, 2003- MSU blew a 28-14 lead with 5 minutes left, and Barrett Pepper kicked a 32yd FG with 6 seconds left as Tulane rallied to beat MSU 31-28.
JP Losman and Mewelde Moore (2 future NFL starters) led the comeback for Tulane. pic.twitter.com/R6BNxeHq1z
— The Flying M ™️ (@MSUhistory) September 14, 2019
A chiseled Losman upped the ante in his final year with the Green Wave, throwing for 3,077 yards, and 33 touchdowns in the 2003 NCAA season.
He was the only quarterback in Conference USA to pass for more than 3,000 yards that year.
Losman started the season like a house on fire: he threw for at least 300 yards in the Green Wave’s first four games.
Losman’s 139.9 passer efficiency rating was his best as Tulane’s starting quarterback.
Unfortunately, Tulane regressed in Losman’s final year. The Green Wave won just five of twelve games in 2003.
Despite Tulane’s ineptitude on the gridiron, Losman gained national recognition during his final year with the Green Wave.
Losman earned Second-Team All-Conference USA honors and became one of the semifinalists for the Unitas Golden Arm Award in 2003.
The next step in J.P. Losman’s football journey would take him to a franchise that had never won a Super Bowl Trophy since it joined the National Football League in 1970.
Pro Football Career
The Buffalo Bills had earned a reputation as the NFL’s perennial bridesmaids.
Buffalo made four consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 1990 to 1993 but lost each time.
For some reason, the iconic core of head coach Marv Levy, quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas, wide receiver Andre Reed, and defensive end Bruce Smith couldn’t get the job done.
The Bills made some unsuccessful postseason runs in the ensuing years but fell on some hard times in the early 2000s.
Buffalo won an average of six games from 2000 to 2003.
The Bills, who had a 6-10 win-loss record in the 2003 NFL season, had one of the most putrid offenses in the league.
Buffalo’s 2,684 passing yards ranked the team 28th overall.
The Bills fared worse on total offense: their 243 points ranked them 31st in the NFL.
Only the Arizona Cardinals’ 225 points were worse in the 2003 NFL campaign.
Could J.P. Losman – the only Conference USA quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards in the 2003 NCAA season – help the Bills rise from the ashes?
The Buffalo Bills made J.P. Losman the 22nd overall selection of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Losman was selected ahead of then-St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson, New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, and Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen.
All four had far more productive NFL careers than Losman.
Losman’s National Football League career got off to an inauspicious start.
He broke his leg after he collided with teammate Troy Vincent in training camp.
The injury forced Losman to sit out thirteen games during his rookie season in 2004.
With starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe leading the way, the Bills finished the year with a 9-7 win-loss mark.
Regrettably, it wasn’t enough to end their five-year playoff drought.
The following season, Losman threw his first NFL touchdown pass in a 22-7 win over the visiting Houston Texans on September 12, 2005.
“I’m here; I’m the starter now,” Losman, who passed for 170 yards in the victory, told The Associated Press (via ESPN). “We’re going to get it rolling.”
Alas, J.P. Losman didn’t get it rolling.
Bills head coach Mike Mularkey benched Losman after just five games.
Buffalo went 2-3 during that stretch.
Mularkey eventually turned the quarterbacking reins back to Losman as the season wound down.
The second-year quarterback finished the year with an even number of touchdown passes (eight) and interceptions (eight) in nine games.
Losman finished 1-7 as Bills starting quarterback in 2005.
Buffalo regressed and won just five games in the 2005 NFL campaign.
Mularkey eventually resigned as Bills head coach at the end of the season.
The Bills hired former Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Dick Jauron to replace Mularkey.
Buffalo also tapped former head coach Marv Levy to become its general manager.
As the new season drew near, Losman competed for the starting quarterback spot with Kelly Holcomb and Craig Nall.
#OTD in 2006, with former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary in Ralph's suite, JP Losman throws for 222 yards and a TD as the Buffalo Bills defeat the Minnesota Vikings 17-12. The win snapped the Bills four game home losing streak. pic.twitter.com/dRzoO5mD0j
— ThisDateInBuffaloSportsHistory (@BuffSportsHstry) October 1, 2021
Losman won out and showed some flashes of brilliance during the 2006 NFL season.
For instance, he passed for 200 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions in the Bills’ 21-0 shutout win over the Miami Dolphins on December 17, 2006.
Losman’s performance impressed Bills wide receiver Lee Evans, per The Associated Press (via ESPN):
“He’s grown a lot. You can see him starting to get it. There’s still some things we left out there, but you can see it.”
“And when you have your quarterback in control of everything, it helps your offense out a lot.”
Losman enjoyed his best season in the National Football League in 2006.
He threw for 3,051 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions as the Bills’ starting signal-caller.
Under Jauron’s leadership, the Bills won seven games every year for the next three seasons.
Regrettably, their playoff drought continued beyond J.P. Losman’s final year in a Bills uniform in 2008.
They wouldn’t taste postseason football again until the 2017 NFL campaign.
As for J.P. Losman, it turned out his breakout campaign in 2006 wasn’t enough to satisfy the Bills’ higher-ups.
Their drafting of Stanford Cardinal quarterback Trent Edwards in 2007 spelled doom for Losman’s career in Western New York.
Edwards took over as the Bills’ starting quarterback in 2007 and 2008.
Jauron relegated Losman to the No. 2 quarterback spot. The latter played in a combined thirteen games over the next two seasons.
Worse, he threw more interceptions (eleven) than touchdowns (six) during that span.
Sadly, J.P. Losman’s breakout campaign two years earlier had been a massive fluke.
Losman became so disenchanted with his new role with the Bills, he wanted them to trade him at the end of the 2008 NFL campaign.
The Bills didn’t give in to Losman’s demands.
Instead, they played out his contract and made no effort to re-sign him.
Buffalo replaced Losman in their quarterback depth chart with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who eventually led the Bills in passing in the next four years after Losman’s departure.
To make matters worse for Losman, no other NFL team was interested in his services after his contract with the Bills expired.
Losman received a new lease on life when Las Vegas Locomotives head coach Jim Fassel, who had known the quarterback through a mutual friend, reached out to him.
J.P. Losman eventually led the Locomotives to a UFL championship in 2009.
Losman’s performance paved the way for a return to the NFL.
The Oakland Raiders signed him on December 15, 2009.
Losman appeared in just one game for the Silver and Black, throwing an incomplete pass.
He signed, was released, and eventually re-signed with the Seattle Seahawks in a six-month span from May to November 2010.
Losman saw limited action in the Seahawks’ memorable 41-36 win over visiting New Orleans Saints on January 8, 2011.
He witnessed Marshawn Lynch’s famous 67-yard “Beast Quake” touchdown run from the sidelines.
The Miami Dolphins signed Losman on October 25, 2011.
I will be retiring from the NFL at the conclusion of this year. Thanks to all former teammates and fans. It's been an amazing experience
— JP Losman (@TheRealJPLosman) December 11, 2011
He suited up in just two games for the Dolphins before hanging up his cleats at the conclusion of the 2011 NFL season.
J.P. Losman passed for 6,271 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions in his seven-year NFL career.
He earned an estimated $12 million in the National Football League, per SI.com’s Kaelen Jones.
J.P. Losman and his wife have three sons. They lived in New Canaan, CT for several years after his retirement.
Losman earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 2013.
According to The Athletic’s Matthew Fairburn, Losman touched base with USC Trojans baseball coach and former Major Leaguer Tom House during his stay on the West Coast.
House not only broke down the rudiments of throwing (House also coached quarterbacks), but he also planted a coaching seed in Losman.
He became a volunteer coach for his town’s local high school football team, the New Canaan Red Rams.
“The fire was back into my system as soon as I was back in that locker room,” Losman told Fairburn. “I started visualizing my sons going to school here and going right through this program.”
Red Rams head football coach Lou Marinelli told The Athletic in April 2021 Losman coached for the love of the game.
Former NFL running back C.J. Spiller knew both Losman and Clemson Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney.
After Spiller put in a good word for Losman, Swinney reached out to the former Bills quarterback.
The rest was history.
J.P. Losman is currently the Clemson Tigers’ senior offensive analyst.
Former Bills’ QB JP Losman, now a 38-year-old offensive coach at Clemson, threw the ball to WRs/DBs so well at the school’s Pro Day today, that an NFL team actually asked him if he had any interest in coming back to the NFL, in which he last played a game in 2011. Losman declined
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2019
Eight years after Losman retired from the NFL, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted an anonymous team asked him if he was interested in a comeback.
Losman turned down the offer.
Apparently fit, even a decade after his retirement, Losman will participate in in the IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene on June 26, 2022.
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