GREEN BAY, Wis. – Za’Darius Smith’s had some fun sack celebrations. He’s had some meaningful ones, too.
The Green Bay Packers’ defensive captain’s next sack will be dedicated to Zayvion Grayson Smith. Za’Darius Smith’s second son was born Nov. 12.
“We had one [celebration planned] last week, but we couldn’t complete it because the punt team ran out and we couldn’t get it done,” Smith said on Friday. “Hopefully, this week we will get it done if we can get some pressure on the quarterback and get him down.”
That will be easier said than done against the Indianapolis Colts. While Smith hasn’t been as impactful on a play-to-play basis as he was last season, when he led the NFL in quarterback hits, he’s tied for fourth in the NFL with eight sacks.
However, the quick-to-throw style of veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who Smith called “legendary,” combined with a sturdy offensive line, have translated to the Colts allowing a league-best nine sacks in nine games.
That could make it a long day of fruitless rushes for Smith and the rest of the defense.
“Coach talks about that all the time, don’t get frustrated in those situations when the ball is coming out quick,” Smith said. “We’ve got to just continue to do what we do up front and the back end’s got to lock down and we can get after the quarterback.”
Juggling football and family is nothing new to Smith, who also has a 6-year-old. He said everything is going “great” with Zayvion. On their first night together, Smith posted a photo of himself and the baby watching video.
“Got my little boy on a schedule now,” he said. “He sleeps every four hours or so throughout the night. I let my lady keep him, and when I get home after practice, I’m having him from the time I’m off till about 10 o’clock, so we’ve got a schedule going.”
As anyone who’s had a baby can attest, sometimes getting a full night’s sleep can be a challenge. However, Smith said he’ll be well-rested for what will be a challenging afternoon against the hard-to-sack Rivers and his highly touted wall of blockers.
“They say the important time to sleep and prepare for a game is two days before the game,” Smith said, “so Friday and Saturday are my nights to get my rest and get ready to go on Sundays.”