Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
Share your pictures, videos, and stories from your visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on our social media. We might even feature you in one of our promotions!
"I’m afraid of not playing well. If I’m not at the top of my game each week, I will get my ass kicked by someone trying to make a name for himself, and I won't let that happen."
(Virginia Tech)...6'4'', 280...
Bills’ first-round draft pick (1st player overall), 1985 NFL Draft. . .Considered one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history. . .His 200 career sacks is NFL all-time record. . .Recorded 10 or more sacks in an NFL record 13 seasons. . .NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1990 and 1996. . .Named to NFL’s All Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s . . .First- or second-team All-Pro 11 times. . .Selected to 11 Pro Bowls. . .Born June 18, 1963 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Bruce Smith was a dominant player during his 19 playing seasons with the Buffalo Bills (1985-1999) and the Washington Redskins (2000-03). His speed and strength made him one of the most feared defensive ends in the modern game. Teams routinely double, if not triple-teamed the former Outland Trophy winner and Virginia Tech All-America.
The first player selected in the 1985 NFL Draft, Smith quickly established himself as a starter on the Bills defensive line. Named the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year by the NFL Players Association, he went on to be named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 and 1996 and the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1987, 1988, 1990, and 1996. He also earned first-team All-Pro honors nine times and was selected to play in 11 Pro Bowls.
Although Smith’s lightning quickness made him a devastating outside pass rusher, he was also devastatingly strong. “He is so strong,” proclaimed Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, “that he can bulldoze over you.”
A key member of the Bills teams that won six AFC Eastern Division championships and four AFC titles, many observers feel that 1990 was Smith’s finest season. That year he recorded 19 quarterback sacks and his dominant play frequently changed the complexion of the game. Against the New York Jets in Week 3 he recorded six tackles, two sacks, defensed a pass, and forced two fumbles. In Week 14 against the Indianapolis Colts, he sacked quarterback Jeff George four times in the first 20 minutes of the game. And in Super Bowl XXV he came up with one of the biggest plays of the game when he sacked New York Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler in the end zone for a safety, giving the Bills a 12-3 lead.
The NFL’s all-time career sack leader (200), Smith’s 13 seasons with 10 or more sacks is also an NFL record. Dedicated to staying in top physical condition, Smith was named to both the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s.
1990 AFC – Buffalo Bills 51, Los Angeles Raiders 3
Smith started at right defensive end. He had one pass defensed.
1991 AFC – Buffalo Bills 10, Denver Broncos 7
Smith started at right defensive end. He had five tackles, one sack and one pass defensed.
1992 AFC – Buffalo Bills 29, Miami Dolphins 10
Smith started at right defensive end. He had four tackles, three assists, one and a half sacks and one forced fumble.
1993 AFC – Buffalo Bills 30, Kansas City Chiefs 13
Smith started at right defensive end. He had two tackles, two assists and one sack.
Super Bowl XXV – New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19
Smith started at right defensive end. He had three tackles and one sack for a safety.
Super Bowl XXVI – Washington Redskins 37, Buffalo Bills 24
Smith started at right defensive end. He had two tackles and one pass defensed.
Super Bowl XXVII – Dallas Cowboys 52, Buffalo Bills 17
Smith started at right defensive end. He had four tackles, one assist, one sack, one pass defensed and one forced fumble.
Super Bowl XXVIII – Dallas Cowboys 30, Buffalo Bills 13
Smith started at right defensive end. He had four tackles and one assist.
All-Pro: 1987 (AP, PFWA, SN, PW), 1988 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN, PW), 1990 (AP, PFWA, NEA, SN, PW), 1992 (SN), 1993 (AP, PFWA, SN), 1994 (AP, PFWA, SN), 1995 (AP, PFWA, SN), 1996 (AP, PFWA, SN), 1997 (AP, PFWA, SN)
All-Pro Second Team: 1987 (NEA), 1989 (AP, NEA), 1992 (AP, NEA), 1998 (AP)
All-AFC: 1987 (UPI, PW), 1988 (UPI, PW), 1989 (UPI, PW), 1990 (UPI, PW), 1992 (UPI, PW), 1993 (UPI, PW), 1994 (UPI, PW), 1995 (UPI, PW), 1996 (UPI, PW), 1997 (PW)
All-AFC Second Team: 1986 (UPI)
(11) – 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993*, 1994*, 1995, 1996, 1997*, 1998, 1999
* Did not play
(following his last season in 2003)
• [1st] Most Sacks, Career – 200
• [1st] Most Seasons, 10 or More Sacks – 13
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Consecutive Games with a Sack – 9 (Nov. 16, 1986-Oct. 25, 1987)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Consecutive Seasons, 10 or More Sacks – 7 (1992-1998)
• [1st] Most Sacks, Career – 14.5
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Sacks, Game – 2.5 (vs. Tennessee – Jan. 8, 2000)
Pro Bowl Records
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Sacks, Game – 3 (1991)
• [3rd] Most Sacks, Career – 7.5
• [3rd] Most Sacks, Game – 2.5 (1998)
Bills’ records held by Smith
(Records through the 1999 season, Smith’s final season with Buffalo)
• [1st] Most Sacks, Career – 171
• [1st] Most Sacks, Season – 19 (1990)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Seasons – 15
• [Tied for 1st] Most Sacks, Game – 4 (at Indianapolis, Dec. 9, 1990)
• [2nd] Most Games – 217
• [2nd] Most Opponents Fumble Recoveries, Career – 14
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Opponents Fumble Recoveries, Season – 4 (1985)
• [3rd] Most Sacks, Season – 15 (1986)
AFC Statistical Championships
Sack Titles: 1996, 1997
Team Statistical Championships
Sack Titles: 1985, 1986 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 W
W Washington Redskins All other titles with Buffalo Bills
• 1980s All-Decade Team
• 1990s All-Decade Team
• 1987 AFC Defensive Player of the Year (UPI)
• 1988 AFC Defensive Player of the Year (UPI)
• 1990 NFL Defensive Player of the Year (AP, PW)
• 1990 AFC Defensive Player of the Year (UPI)
• 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year (PW)
• 1996 NFL Defensive Player of the Year (AP, PFWA)
• 1996 AFC Defensive Player of the Year (UPI)
Full name: Bruce Bernard Smith
Birthdate: June 18, 1963
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia
High School: Booker T. Washington (Norfolk, VA)
Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 31, 2009
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 8, 2009
Presenter: Ted Cottrell, former defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills
Other Members of the Class of 2009: Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, Jr., Rod Woodson
Pro Career: 19 Seasons, 279 Games
Drafted: 1st round (1st player overall) in 1985 by Buffalo Bills
Uniform Number: #78
Rich Eisen (emcee):
Ted Cottrell (presenter):