Inside The Bills

The 2 people who whipped Bruce into shape

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2016 – 3:04 pm

As a rookie, Bills Hall of Famer Bruce Smith was a doughy defensive end, who thought his ability was good enough to get away with it. That is until a Bills teammate got on his case about his fitness level, along with someone from his alma mater at Virginia Tech.

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy relayed a story about the two people who helped to change Smith’s approach to the game.

“In his early years even though he was a number one pick in the draft and so much was expected. He was overweight, self-indulgent, didn’t have great practice habits, all of those things,” said Levy. “Two people had quite an impact on turning him around.

“One was his coveted teammate Darryl Talley, who really sort of gave him that proverbial kick in the butt to get going. But the other in the offseason I understand he went back to Virginia Tech to finish his degree, which was good. There he met a woman counselor who put him on the right track in every respect. Boy he dropped weight with the urgings of her and Darryl. Shaped up and got ready, his principles changed.

“He not only turned out to be the greatest player, he married that woman, what a wife she was, his wife Carmen. So those people had great impact on him. What a change in his practice habits, his excitement about playing the game, all of those things occurred.”

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