Bruce Smith joins quarterback Jim Kelly, whose No. 12 was retired in 2001, as the only Bills players whose jersey numbers have been officially retired by the team. The Buffalo Bills will retire the Hall of Fame defensive ends No. 78 during halftime of their home opener September 15 against the New York Jets. No other Buffalo Bills player has worn number 78 since smith’s final season in 1999.
Bruce a two-time Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year played 15 seasons (1985-99) with the Bills and four seasons (2000-03) with the Washington Redskins. Smith was the first overall selection of the 1985 draft, retired with 200 career sacks that remain the most in NFL history.
The Defensive leader of the four consecutive Super Bowl teams in the early 1990’s was an 11-time Pro Bowl selection and was named First Team All-Pro eight times in his 19th year career. He is the ninth player from the Super Bowl team’s era to be placed on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.
Congratulations Bruce, it was a pleasure watching you play!