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Bruce knows stats

CANTON, Ohio -- During a roundtable discussion held by the Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon, Bruce Smith was asked to comment on late Chiefs great Derrick Thomas and the fact that in Smith's best sacking season, Thomas outdid him by one. (Bruce had 19 sacks in 1990 and Thomas had 20.)

"Derrick Thomas was a very dear friend of mine," Bruce began. "I might add I also had 101 tackles that year."

The audience gave a big laugh over Smith's competitive nature. (Thomas, in fact, had significantly fewer tackles (63) that season.)  

"But Derrick was special," Smith said. "He was a special athleetic talent, but he was a better person. He spent more time than most giving back to the communitiy and individuals who were less fortuante."

Woodson, who starred for the Steelers from 1987 to 1996, acknowledged he and his teammates were hoping the Houston Oilers would defeat the Bills in the wild-card round of the playoffs in the 1992 season. (The Bills, of course, won that game in the greatest NFL comeback ever.)

"We were waiting for the Oilers to beat them so we could beat the Oilers and go to the Super Bowl," Woodson said. "We couldn't beat them (the Bills) in the playoffs to save our life."

The Steelers lost to the Bills the next week, 24-3. The Steelers did knock the Bills out of the playoffs in 1995, but Woodson did not play in that game due to a knee injury.

---Mark Gaughan



Pro Football Hall of Fame
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