The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Former NFL Quarterback, 11 seasons, Rams, 49ers, Seahawks and Eagles

Author, Facing the Blitz (2015)

Wife: Stacey

Four sons

Guest Bio

Former NFL Quarterback Believes Every Trial is an Opportunity   FACING THE BLITZ

Jeff says everyone faces problems. “Life goes along pretty well and then things can fall apart and blow up really badly,” he says.  He reminds us that while things go from good to bad, they also go from bad to good.  “I know my biggest losses and toughest times have yielded value in their own way.”  Jeff played 11 seasons in the NFL for 4 different teams.  He grew up around the game with his dad, Jack, who played in the NFL for 13 years.  Much of what Jeff refers to in life comes from the experiences he learned on the field.  He says a "blitz" is when an unexpected event or loss in life occurs that blindsides us. “I wouldn’t have guessed that my experience handling blitzes would provide me with many of the most powerful lessons in my life,” he says. 

Once as the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, Jeff made an errant pass that was caught by an opposing safety.  That play cost the Seahawks the game and Jeff’s job.  “To go from being the starting quarterback of a team to an unemployed one facing retirement, all in just a few days’ time, is about as difficult as life gets in the NFL,” says Jeff.  Sometimes a blitz has a positive outcome and Jeff has learned not to panic at the sight of a full-on blitz.  When he was a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jeff saw a free safety had slipped through the offensive line untouched.  He leaped at Jeff and Jeff knew he needed to take a shot downfield.  The ball flew from his hand and past the ear of the blitzing free safety.  Jeff couldn’t see where his receiver was and as the ball left his hand, the free safety collided with Jeff and landed on the ground.  Not only did his receiver catch the ball, but he crossed the goal line for what was the game’s only and winning touchdown.  The Eagles didn’t just survive the blitz but they turned it into something greater than they could have created on their own.


Jeff has had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ since junior high school.  In 1992, Jeff had been released from the Eagles’ roster but had hopes that another team would call to sign him.  Weeks passed and Jeff was feeling overlooked.  He admits that he was losing a lot more of his identity than he’d expected to lose when he stopped playing football.  “My attachment to my career was proving to be a larger part of me and my attachment to God was proving to be smaller than I would have described,” he says.  It was the most painful blitz Jeff had experienced in his life.  The blitz of the end of his career exposed Jeff’s selfishness.  Since junior high school, Jeff had been clear in his belief about Jesus as the Son of God. In the midst of his career collapse and pain, Jeff turned his thoughts to Jesus.  Tears came to his eyes as Jeff realized his selfishness.  “It became an epic moment in my life, one in which I felt more of God’s love for me than ever before,” says Jeff. 

He says there are 3 strategies for turning trials into triumphs:

  1. Take a long-term view: take a step back and look for the opportunities;
  2. Be willing to change: take personal responsibility and change yourself;
  3. Reach out to others: consider the LIFT (Life Is For Transformation) and be an encourager.

On the last night Jeff spent with his dad, Jack, before he succumbed to cancer, Jeff read his dad Psalm 16 and then asked his father to pray for him. “Even in his deepest pain, his toughest blitz, his final moments, he prayed for me,” says Jeff.  Jeff and Jack are the first of only 6 sets of father-son quarterbacks in the NFL.  Jack played in the NFL for 13 years and later ran with Bob Dole for President in 1996.  Jack served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President George H.W. Bush from 1989-1993.  After Jack was sold from the Chargers to the Bills for $100, he was heartbroken.  The family settled in Buffalo where Jack developed a passion for ideas and economics.  After leaving the NFL, Jack embarked on an 18-year congressional career.  “My dad left me a legacy that still pulses through my life,” says Jack. One day we will all have a tombstone laid over our physical bodies.  “What will you be remembered for in that dash?” says Jeff.  “Facing life’s blitzes is an opportunity to find and practice a deeper love.”

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