Looking back…Spotlight on Bruce Smith
Date of Birth: June, 18, 1963 in Norfolk Virginia
Height: 6’4” Weight: 280 lbs
At Virginia Tech, he was known as “The Sack Man”; clearly that nickname followed his career into the NFL.
The Buffalo Bills selected Smith with the first pick overall in the 1985 draft. You can make the assumption that the Bills’ fortunes changed with this pick. The Sack Man delivered in a big way, terrorizing backfields every Sunday.
He was credited with 171 sacks during his Bills career, a number that will remain as a club record for a very long time. His total of 200 is an NFL record. In today’s game, for a player to play on one team for many years is rare; personally, I doubt this record gets broken any time soon.
Bruce appeared in 11 Pro-Bowls and was selected as a First team All-Pro nine times; twice as a Second team selection.
He was part of an AFC Champion four times, and was named to the 1980s and 1990s All Decade Teams. Smith was twice named the AP Defensive Player of the Year; three times the Professional Football Writers Association Defensive Player of the Year.
Bruce was also named UPI AFC Defensive Player of the Year four times, as well as twice the Newspaper Enterprise Association Defensive Player of the Year.
This once Pro-Bowl MVP is also on the Bills Wall of Fame.
Bruce finished his career by playing for three years with Washington Redskins. During that time, he was used mostly as a pass-rushing specialist while he pursued the NFL Sack Total record held by Reggie White. That record was 198; Smith retired after getting his 200th.
I have had the honor to hate Bruce Smith for a very long time. When I say hate, I mean hated watching him destroy my team week in and week out. Bruce Smith was a true terror. I have always liked Reggie White, but Bruce Smith had a desire to succeed that Reggie didn’t have. Reggie was a God-given brutal pass rusher. Smith finessed you and powerfully ran you over. I feel lucky to have watched him play.
I chose Smith as my first “Looking Back…Spotlight” because he may very well be the best player this division has ever had.