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BRUCE SMITH PAYS TAYLOR A VISIT, THEN DEFENDS COMMENTS ON GIANT

Bruce Smith, who announced earlier in the week that he had supplanted Lawrence Taylor as the NFL's best defensive player, paid a post-game visit to the Giants linebacker in the New York locker room after the game Saturday.

Taylor said it was strictly a private conversation.

Speaking to the media, Smith attempted to clarify what he had said earlier in the week when comparing his ability with Taylor's.

"I made a statement . . . and the next day it comes out in the paper 'LTs not the greatest,' " the Bills' All-Pro defensive end said.

"My statement was -- if you're going to write it please get it right -- all I said was over the last 10 years Lawrence Taylor has been the most dominant player in the league and nobody can take that away from him.

"I feel that with the season I'm having this year, I have emerged as the best defensive player in the game. That was my whole statement. I'm not taking anything away from LT. LT is a great player. He's going into the Hall of Fame. I want to go into the Hall of Fame. So just give me a little credit."

Smith pointed to the attention he's getting from opposing offenses as proof of his ability.

"If they're double- and triple-teaming you, what does that tell you?," Smith said.

Smith said none of the Giants said anything to him concerning his remarks during the week.

"I think they knew where I was coming from," Smith said.

For the record, Smith was credited with 10 tackles and no sacks.

Taylor had five tackles, including four primary hits and sacked Frank Reich for a 4-yard loss. However, LT dropped two sure interceptions in the game, one when Jim Kelly was pressured by Carl Banks, the other when Reich missed connections on a throw for Thurman Thomas.

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