Alex Smith played quarterback in the National Football League for 16 seasons.

Why you should listen

Alex Smith played college football at Utah, where he was recognized as an All-American and led his team to victory in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Following his collegiate success, he was selected first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft. In 2011, he led the 49ers to their first NFC West division title and playoff win since 2002 and the team's first NFC Championship Game appearance since 1997. In 2012, he joined the Kansas City Chiefs, where he guided the team to four playoff runs and one postseason victory, their first since 1993. He received three Pro Bowl selections during his Chiefs tenure and led the league in passer rating for 2017.

Smith was traded to the Washington Football Team in 2018. During his first season with Washington, he suffered a life-threatening injury to his right leg that nearly resulted in amputation. Although he was expected to never play again, he completed a lengthy rehabilitation process and started as quarterback in 2020, leading Washington to an NFC East division title and earning him NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He retired after his incredible recovery, regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history.

Alex Smith’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Alex Smith

Live from TEDMonterey

Up, up and away: Notes from Session 8 of TEDMonterey

August 4, 2021

TEDMonterey’s final session brought with it a reflection of the magic and generosity of spirit that grew with each talk throughout the week. In a town hall-style discussion, gratitude flooded the stage as attendees took to the spotlight to share which ideas from the conference inspired them most and how they plan to bring a […]

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