Former C-SC offensive lineman Rupcich discusses first year in NFL

Former Culver-Stockton College offensive lineman Andrew Rupcich spent the 2022 NFL season with...
Former Culver-Stockton College offensive lineman Andrew Rupcich spent the 2022 NFL season with the Tennessee Titans practice squad.(AP / WGEM)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:03 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Imagine being 23 years old, earning a paycheck in the NFL, and residing in the country music capital of the world.

Sounds like a pretty good life, huh?

Well, that’s the life former Culver-Stockton College offensive lineman Andrew Rupcich has been living in Nashville since he signed a free-agent contract in May to be a member of the Tennessee Titans practice squad.

“It’s been an interesting season,” said Rupcich, who was driving from Nashville to his parents’ home in McHenry near the Wisconsin border before making a stop in his old stomping grounds in Canton, Mo.

Rupcich, a three-time NAIA All-American at C-SC, was taking some time off after the Titans finished a disappointing 7-10 season with seven straight losses.

But before he headed home for some rest and relaxation, Rupcich learned he was one of eight players the Titans signed to reserves/futures contracts.

“That definitely relieved some stress,” Rupcich said. “It’s a big relief to know where I will be and back with the same group of guys. I love the team and our guys.”

An NFL futures contract is a contract that secures an NFL player to a team for the future. The reason it is designated as a “futures contract” is that the player is not officially under contract until the start of the following league season.

With that signing, Rupcich can work out at the Titans’ training site where he can take advantage of the team’s strength and conditioning coaches as well as staff nutritionists.

“We do workouts probably four times a day for several hours, just basic maintenance stuff,” said the 6-foot-6, 318-pound left tackle.

Rupcich was not on the Titans’ active roster for any of their 17 games this year. He explained that players seen in sweats on the sideline during the game are usually active roster players who are injured or inactive for that particular game.

So where does Rupcich and the other practice squad players watch the game?

“We sit up in the suites,” Rupcich said. “We aren’t allowed on the sideline nor do we travel to road games.”

So ever wondered what an NFL player’s week looks like? Rupcich gave a quick schedule for a Sunday game:

  • Monday: Light workouts, unless the team wins, then it’s Victory Monday, optional workouts.
  • Tuesday: Light workouts, film study.
  • Wednesday: The real work begins with watching a film, practice, and meetings.
  • Thursday: Repeat Wednesday.
  • Friday: Light workouts and practice squad lifts while the team goes through the final walk-through.
  • Saturday: Early practice, more meetings. If it is a home game, the team spends the night in a local hotel. If it is a road game, players have two hours to get to the airport for a charter flight.
  • Sunday: Game day.

One area that will be different for Rupcich this coming season is he will have a new position coach and offensive coordinator. The Titans fired offensive line coach Keith Carter and OC Todd Downing and two other coaches after a season that was marred by injuries.

During the season, the Titans fired longtime General Manager Jon Robinson but just named former San Francisco 49ers Director of Player Personnel Ran Carthon the new GM on Tuesday.

“The team tries to keep us in the loop on stuff like that although we didn’t find out about the coaches until we saw it on Twitter,” Rupcich said. “When they fired the GM, they told us about 15 minutes in advance.”

“I felt I had a great relationship with Coach Carter,” Rupcich said. “He really knew my background. But now I have a chance to hopefully impress somebody new. It’s a double-edged sword.”

So now about living in the country music capital of the world. That’s got to be exciting, right?

“I just don’t get out too much down in Nashville,” admitted Rupcich, who nevertheless is a country music fan and cites Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton and Zak Bryant among his favorites.

“I’ve had some friends visit and gone to a couple of places downtown. Nothing too extravagant, though.”

This is a 2022 photo of Andrew Rupcich of the Tennessee Titans NFL football team. This image...
This is a 2022 photo of Andrew Rupcich of the Tennessee Titans NFL football team. This image reflects the Tennessee Titans active roster as of Thursday, May 12, 2022 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)(AP)

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