The Bills of the 1990s continue to get their due. Kelly, Thurman, Lofton, Marv and now Bruce and owner and founder Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Bruce Smith was a lock, a no doubt about it first ballot hall of famer. Ralph getting in this year came as a bit of a shock to me.
Bruce Smith: Defensive End, 1985-2003 (1985-1999 with the Bills)
- Bruce Smith is the best defensive end to have ever played in the National Football League. The Bills drafted him number one overall in 1985 out of Virginia Tech. From that day forward, the dude was a straight up beast. He amassed an NFL record 200 career sacks, 159.5 of which as a Bill. Excluding his rookie year, his final year as a Bill and his injury shortened '91 season, Smith had at least 10 sacks in every season. The Bills defensive line this year, as a unit, had 7 and as a defense had 22 total. Bruce had a career high 19 himself alone in 1990. Smith forced 43 fumbles in his career and eclipsed 100 tackles twice in his career. Aaron Schobel had 54 tackles in his best season. Bruce was named the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice, in 1990 and 1996. He made 11 pro bowls and 8 times was named a first team all pro. These are just staggering numbers. It begs the question...if Bruce suited up for the Bills right now, would he still be their best defensive end? Bruce Smith also played in 20 playoff games. In those games he had 14.5 sacks. He had the famous sack of Hostettler for a safety in super bowl XXV, although he gets criticized for this play for his failure to force a fumble. Bruce Smith could possibly be the best Bill of all time. He after all was the best player to ever play his position.
- I don't have much to say about Ralph Wilson...lately I know a lot of Bills fans, including myself, have been real fustrated with the decisions he has made. After all, he drove Bill Polian out of town, allowed AJ Smith to go, hired Tom Donahoe, left the football decisions to Russ Brandon, and retained Dick Jauron. But, in the grand scheme of things, Ralph has done a lot for this city. Without him, there would be no team here and never would have been probably. He brought football to Buffalo in 1960 and the team has been here since. Wilson's first choice ironically was Miami, who would later become the Bills biggest rival. Miami turned him down and finally on October 28, 1959, the Bills became the 7th AFL franchise. Wilson helped preserve the AFL before the merger by loaning money to the Oakland Raiders to keep them afloat. Ralph Wilson has done so much for the league and for the city of Buffalo, I just hope he finds a way to set something up so that the Bills remain in Buffalo after he passes away.