Former Washington Commanders defensive end Bruce Smith believes he'd surpass his all-time NFL sack record in the modern-day game.
There weren't many who achieved more than Bruce Smith. The devastating defensive end remains one of the most accomplished pass-rushers in NFL history. The now-Washington Commanders got to see a brief part of that over the final four years of his illustrious career, which is deservedly enshrined in Canton as a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
He's also pretty confident about his chances of thriving in today's game despite its vast changes.
The eight-time All-Pro joined Washington in 2000. This was arguably the first marquee signing during Dan Snyder's ownership. It was seen as a statement of intent as the owner looked to maintain the franchise's status as a perennial powerhouse. As we all know, these bold claims came with very little substance attached.
Bruce Smith would '100%' gain more sacks today
Smith has been doing the rounds at Radio Row in Las Vegas ahead of the mouth-watering Super Bowl clash between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. During his allocated time with FanSided's team on the ground, the former No. 1 overall selection discussed several interesting topics, including the greatness of the late Derrick Thomas and the evolution of pass-rushers around the league.
When Smith was probed about whether he'd have more sacks in today's game, the answer was definitive. He also lent his expertise on what separates the good pass-rushers from the great.
"100 percent I would [get more sacks today]. I don't think it's [pass-rushing] has changed. I think they've tweaked a few things here and there. One thing about pass rushers from a defensive end standpoint is the ability to bend and turn the corner is paramount. If you can bend and have the tools to go along with that bend, you're gonna be great. It's natural. You can work at it. You can get better at it, but some guys have that natural ability to bend around the corner."- Bruce Smith via FanSided
Considering Smith notched a phenomenal 200 sacks throughout his career, that's a bold statement. However, when one considers how pass-happy the NFL has become, he'd be an absolute nightmare for any modern-day offensive line.
Smith also revealed one regret of his career. He sacked a lot of quarterbacks - that's an understatement - but one that got away was Michael Vick. Not surprising considering he was a transcendent talent and one of the most elusive signal-callers in history.
We'll never know for sure how Smith would fare today. He'd be a dominant force beyond all doubt. But the bar he set as the NFL's all-time sack leader is something that might be tough to replicate.
Anything more than a double century would be a scary proposition. But anyone questioning whether Smith could match this notable feat should go put on some YouTube highlights and rethink things.
Bruce Smith participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of M&Ms.