The cameras caught a hilarious exchange between Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
After throwing a swing pass to the flat, Rodgers tried his darnedest to lay a block in the open field. The only problem? He was trying to block Smith.
Naturally, Smith took his chance to get a lick on Rodgers, his teammate with the Packers the past three seasons. Both players shared a laugh before going back to their respective huddles.
Za’Darius Smith and Aaron Rodgers share a laugh after Rodgers tried the lead block on Smith pic.twitter.com/q0eBSI0ffM
— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) September 11, 2022
“I was telling him that he’s not a blocker,” Smith said with a laugh after the Vikings’ 23-7 victory over the Packers. “We were just having fun with it.”
It’s safe to say Smith had more fun that Rodgers during the game itself. His team won after all.
After signing with the Vikings this offseason, Smith’s first game against the Packers was always going to draw a lot of attention. The buzz increased in the days leading up to the rivalry game after Smith was quoted quoted in an article saying a big reason he signed with the Vikings was so he could face the Packers twice a season.
“My biggest concern was just, ‘Would he be too hyped up?’ ” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “He’s got a lot of people he’s close with over there. I know that organization has a lot of respect for him. He has a lot of respect for that organization.”
Luckily for the Vikings, Smith appeared to be the perfect amount of hyped up. He made his presence felt throughout the game, pairing with fellow edge rusher Danielle Hunter to make Rodgers extremely uncomfortable for 60 minutes.
This is the type of impact Smith envisioned for himself when he agreed to sign wit the Vikings this offseason. He actually called Hunter before everything went down.
“That’s what made me so excited to come here,” Smith said. “Because I got a chance to talk to him before I signed my contract.”
Not surprisingly, Hunter was excited to play with Smith, as well.
“I love playing with him,” Hunter said. “To be on the field with him, (the offense) has got to pick their poison. Either they go to him or they’ve got to go to me.”
That proved to be the case on Sunday afternoon and both Smith and Hunter reaped the rewards with one sack apiece.
“It feels great,” Smith said. “My teammates had my back and they knew what time it was. We got the dub. We’re just so excited, and going to get ready for next week.”
After recording the sack, Smith unleashed his patented celebration. Any more trash talk with Rodgers at that moment?
“Nah,” Smith said with a laugh. “I just wanted to do my dog crawl. I haven’t done it in awhile.”