Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills became one of the best American defensive players in football. Smith led the Bills to four consecutive American Football Conference championships in the early 1990s. In 1987 he was named the National Football League’s defensive lineman of the year.
Bruce Smith, born in 1963, American professional football player, who helped lead the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL) to the Super Bowl four consecutive times (1990-1993). Smith holds the all-time NFL record for quarterback sacks, recording 200 during his long career.
Bruce Bernard Smith was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and educated at Virginia Tech University, where in 1984 he won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top collegiate lineman. The Bills then selected Smith as the first pick in the 1985 NFL draft. Playing the defensive-end position, he became one of the leading defensive players in the NFL, consistently ranking among league leaders in sacks.
In 1987 Smith was named the NFL's defensive lineman of the year. After the 1990 season, in which he recorded 19 sacks and 101 tackles, Smith won the Associated Press defensive player of the year award. His dominant play was a major factor in the Bills' success during the early 1990s, when the team won the American Football Conference (AFC) championship four consecutive times (1990-1993). Each year, however, the team subsequently lost in the Super Bowl.
In 1996 Smith was again named the NFL defensive player of the year. After the 1999 season the Bills released him and he signed a free-agent contract with the Washington Redskins. In 2003 Smith broke the NFL career record for quarterback sacks previously held by Reggie White. He retired after the season.
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