Watch CBS News

"He's not a blocker. Be a quarterback": Za'Darius Smith on that moment with Aaron Rodgers

Border battle: Vikings, Packers fans travel to Minneapolis for big season opener
Border battle: Vikings, Packers fans travel to Minneapolis for big season opener 01:52

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Vikings defense was spotted to a touchdown lead before they even stepped on the field. Then the pass rush took over, leading the defense, and holding Green Bay to just seven points on the day. Perhaps the most impactful player -- former Packer Za'Darius Smith.

"The opportunity to come back on the field is a blessing because six months ago I thought football was over with for me," said Smith.

Far from over. Smith tallied his much anticipated sack of Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay's second drive of the game.

"You know I grew up a guy that played basketball," said Smith. "But I can do that up and down the line."

"He was excited from the get go. All week long he was anticipating playing against his old team. So he came out there with the fire and you saw what happened in the first half of the game," said Danielle Hunter, the other half of the Vikings dynamic pass rush.

One of the biggest plays of the day was Smith breaking through for a 4th down goal line stand in the second quarter to keep the game scoreless at the time.

"The chemistry we building right now is amazing. We all feed off each others energy and keep growing," said interior defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson.

One of the lighter moments of the game was when Rodgers tried to become a lead blocker, Smith had other ideas, and dropped him with a hard hit.

"I was telling him he's not a blocker. Be a quarterback. That's what you are. He tried to block me on a reverse. And I got a good chance to get a lick on him. But it's all good man. It's still football and we just having fun with it man," Smith said.

Today, Smith said he was thinking about the game three years ago when he played at U.S. Bank Stadium and sacked Kirk Cousins three and a half times. After the game, Cousins, echoed what the entire certainly agrees with, that he's thankful that Smith is on their side.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.