June 19, 2013

MVP Profile: Bruce Smith, 1990

Defensive End, Buffalo Bills

Age:  27
6th season in pro football & with Bills
College: Virginia Tech
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 280

The first overall pick by the Bills in the 1985 NFL draft, Smith started off slowly as a rookie with a poor team but broke out with 15 sacks in 1986 and earned both consensus first-team All-NFL and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in ’87. Strong against both the run and pass, he benefited from the arrival of LB Cornelius Bennett and other defensive stars. Smith was again a first-team All-NFL choice in 1988 and a Pro Bowl selection in ’88 and ’90. In his first five seasons, he accumulated a total of 57.5 sacks.

1990 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – 19 [2]
Most sacks, game – 4 at Indianapolis 12/9
Multi-sack games (2 or more) – 7
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0
Forced fumbles – 4
Tackles – 101

Postseason: 3 G
Sacks – 1
Interceptions – 0
Safeties – 1
TD – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, NEA, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Bills went 13-3 to finish first in the AFC East and gain the top playoff seed in the conference. Won AFC Divisional playoff over Miami Dolphins (44-34) and AFC Championship over Los Angeles Raiders (51-3). Lost Super Bowl to New York Giants (20-19).

A knee injury limited Smith to just five games in 1991, but he bounced back in ’92 to record 14 sacks and return to the Pro Bowl for the first of seven consecutive seasons. He was also a consensus first-team All-NFL selection for five straight years from 1993 to ’97 and again received NFL Defensive Player of the Year recognition in 1996. After 15 years with Buffalo, Smith moved on to the Washington Redskins in 2000 and had his last double-digit sack season, with 10. He hung on until 2003, finishing up as the NFL’s all-time leader in sacks with 200. A great all-around defensive end with tremendous savvy as well as speed and strength, Smith played in a total of 279 games, was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection eight times and a Pro Bowl choice 11 times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2009.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

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