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Za’Darius, Preston Smith adjust to new normal, sometimes without each other

Green Bay Packers' Kenny Clark, left, Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith, right, celebrate after...
Green Bay Packers' Kenny Clark, left, Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith, right, celebrate after a sack during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)(Andy Clayton-King | AP)
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 9:36 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY Wis. (WSAW) -We're used to Za'Darius and Preston Smith doing interviews together, but for now, they're each a solo act.

“Man it’s so sad,” Za’Darius jokingly says about not doing interviews with Preston. “But for real though man I miss it man. And I told Preston man that we was going to do it anyways, I was going to bust in here when he just did his interview.”

The audience for their play on the field will be smaller as well, after the Packers announced that at least their first two home games will be played without fans.

“When I got here, just that electrifying atmosphere, every home game’s gonna be different,” said Preston Smith. “Because it was definitely an advantage for our defense, and the D-train when we was getting rolling and the crowd was behind us and the fans was behind us.”

Change will be a theme of this year, without a crowd, some of those famous sack celebrations from last season, will likely look different.

“I mean but Z (Za’Darius), with him switching up every sack, it might play a toll on him,” said Preston.

The Smith’s impact on the locker room last year was universally regarded at Lambeau Field, but without huge team dinners and barbecues to bring teammates together in 2020, they’re going to have to get creative.

“Basically positions, each position will have their own little gathering and that’s how we’re going to have to make it work this year,” said Za’Darius. “It’s going to be hard, but rules are rules, and we gotta abide by the rules.”

No matter how different it looks, the green and gold’s favorite unofficial brothers don’t plan to stop making an impact, on, or off the field, for a long time to come.

“When I first came in the building, that’s something we harped on. is leadership and being a captain and just bringing that energy,” said Za’Darius. “And as you can see man, I’ve been bringing it since day one. And I’m going to continue to do it, until I retire here.”

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