Hall of Famer Bruce Smith Heaps Praise on Jaguars’ Calais Campbell and Josh Allen, as Well as Tony Boselli
When Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith talks, the smart bet is to listen. After all, nobody in NFL history has sacked quarterbacks as much as the former Buffalo Bill.
That means when Smith heaps praise on fellow lineman, it is worth noting. Such was the case this week in Orlando when Smith gushed about Jacksonville Jaguars defensive linemen Calais Campbell and rookie Josh Allen.
"I tell you what, they bring it," Smith said in an interview with Jaguars' reporter Ashlyn Sullivan. "These are two outstanding players. I wish I had both of them on the defensive line with me when I was playing."
Smith seems to be a particularly big fan of Allen, the seventh overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. It's not hard to see why, considering Allen led all rookies in sacks with 10.5, which is also a Jaguars' rookie record.
"This young man, he is going to be a dynamite player for a long time," Smith said.
"He is exciting, he is strong, he is fast. Once he -- I think once the game slows down for him, when he becomes that student of the game, he is just going to excel even more. I am excited to watch him as his
maturation process takes place."
Allen himself has had similar comments about his game, noting he wants to improve his counter moves and pass-rush technique moving forward. But when you're as big, strong, and as fast as he is, you can get by on natural ability to a degree.
"Right now he is just playing off of
raw talent and ability, and this game will slow down for him in the next year or two and he is going to be extremely exciting to watch," Smith said.
Smith also had high praise for former Jaguars' left tackle Tony Boselli, who Smith had some epic battles with in the 1990s.
"Tony is a stud. He was a stud," Smith said. "I think I played against him all three times and he gave me all that I could handle, that is for sure."
Today, Boselli is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the same hall Smith was elected to in his first year of eligibility in 2009. This is Boselli's fourth consecutive year as a finalist, and Smith hopes it'll finally be the year his former opponent makes it in.
"So I am pulling for Tony, Smith said. "I understand the dynamics of the voting process and him having a short career and his body of work wasn't necessarily complete. But while he was healthy during that era of football, there was none better."