Class of 2009 Enshrinee
Smith is the first member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame from Virginia Tech.
His 279 career games is second most ever by a defensive end behind only the Minnesota Vikings’ Jim Marshall.
Smith grew up as a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and called fellow Hall of Famer Joe Greene his favorite player.
Noted for his love of working out using the stair stepper. Once broke two of them in one day after the end of the ’90 season.
Sacked 76 different quarterbacks during his career. New York Jets QB Ken O’Brien ranks as the top victim (17.5 sacks).
Smith set the NFL record for career sacks on Dec. 7, 2003 when he dropped the New York Giants Jesse Palmer for a seven-yard loss.
Bruce’s first career sack came during Week 4 of his rookie season against the Minnesota Vikings’ Tommy Kramer. He had the first of 51 career multi-sack games that day.
Smith’s NFL debut included a three-sack performance in a preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
His first career TD came on one of three sacks against the Indianapolis Colts in a game in 1987. He sacked Indy QB Sean Salisbury in the end zone and forced the fumble which he promptly recovered.
Smith had two career interceptions. His first came on a diving catch against the New York Jets that sealed a Bills win Oct. 24, 1993. His second pick occurred against the New England Patriots the following season.
Bruce set the NFL’s all-time playoff sack record in his last game with the Buffalo Bills. The milestone sack came during the infamous “Music City Miracle” against the Tennessee Titans.
He was named Most Valuable Player in his first Pro Bowl appearance in 1987.
Became Buffalo’s all-time sack leader in just his fifth season. Smith recorded his 52nd sack during a three-sack day versus the Jets on Oct. 22, 1989 to break the mark held by Ben Williams.
“All you can do with a guy like that is try and stay in front of him and hope the quarterback gets rid of the damn ball quick enough.” - Art Shell, Hall of Fame tackle
“You’re talking about a guy who is stronger than a 300-pounder and faster than a linebacker. His speed around the corner is unreal. And if you move out, he’ll take one step up field, spin inside and he’s gone.” - Kent Hull, former Bills All-Pro center
“Like most great players, he sees things and reacts quicker to them than average players…I can say I’ve never had anybody better than Bruce.” - Wade Phillips, former Buffalo defensive coordinator
“He’s a blue collar football player; he works like hell. Nothing comes easy for anybody, but the man’s got unbelievable talent. Plus, he loves the game, and that’s the difference. He loves to compete. What else can you say about the man? He gives you all the pluses.” - Dan Sekanovich, former Jets assistant coach
“He makes things happen, he can get triple- or double-teamed, but he’s still going to make things happen. He’s just one of those rare kinds of athletes.” - Jim Jeffcoat, former NFL defensive lineman
“He’s great for football, a class guy.” - Drew Bledsoe, former NFL quarterback
“Bruce likes to do things quietly, when he doesn’t think people see him, like working out every week on his day off. I guess he feels if people think he has stayed so good for so long on natural talent alone, so be it.” - Marv Levy, Hall of Fame coach
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