Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass
against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of an
NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Green
GREEN BAY —
Mike McCarthy's scouting report was brief. In fact, it wasn't
really a scouting report at all. It was just a statement.
Linsley is our starting center," the Green Bay Packers coach
said. "So, obviously, we feel good about where is."
didn't feel the need to give his rookie fifth-round pick a public
vote of confidence before his NFL regular-season debut was
telling, given what Linsley is up against.
He is starting in
place of injured JC Tretter without having had a single snap with
quarterback Aaron Rodgers in preseason play. He will be playing in
the loudest stadium in the NFL, CenturyLink Field. He is facing
the defending Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks, who had the
NFL's best defense a season ago. And he will do it on national
television, in the NFL Kickoff game.
But given his
quiet, do-the-job approach, the feeling among Linsley's teammates
is that he won't be fazed by any of it.
seem to get rattled. Mentally, he's sharp. He's not a real fired
up guy, he's not a real hyper guy. He's just kind of a calm,
collected guy. Nothing seems to really get to him," said No.
2 quarterback Matt Flynn, who spent much of the preseason working
with Linsley, including Thursday's preseason finale when they
started together. "That's been impressive, the way he's been
able to just jump in.
coaches told him), 'All right, you're the starter,' so he just
quietly walked up there and started taking reps. He's been
impressive. JC was a big loss. We all felt comfortable with him.
But Corey has done a great job."
Linsley is so
cool about his new gig that he was even able to crack a
well-delivered joke to reporters around his locker earlier this
week. As he faced a series of questions about the oft-discussed
noise in Seattle, he named Nebraska and Wisconsin as the two
places where the crowds were the most challenging during his
college career at Ohio State. Then, he zinged the school's biggest
quiet, really quiet. Probably the quietest stadium in the Big
Ten," he said to laughter.
It won't be quiet
on Thursday night, and it'll be Linsley's job to get to the line
of scrimmage quickly and make the initial declarations based on
what he sees from the Seattle defense.
about the preparation and the week leading up to it. It's
week-by-week no matter what level of football you're in,"
Linsley said. "You can't go back and say, 'That's what we did
against Wisconsin last year.' It isn't going to work at Green Bay.
So it's all about the preparation.
primary job is) just getting everybody on the same page as quickly
as possible. If everybody knows where the starting point is and
they don't like the starting point, they can adjust it from
The Packers plan
to use their no-huddle offense extensively against Seattle, having
spent the offseason and training camp working on it. But during
the preseason finale against Kansas City with Linsley at center,
they ran by unofficial count only three snaps of no-huddle with
Linsley on the field. Not only will Rodgers not have had a single
in-game snap with Linsley before, but they will never have
operated in the no-huddle together, either.
smart guy. He's played a lot of center in his time and he's going
to be expected to play well. So we expect him to be able to keep
up," Rodgers said. "I've said it a lot, but he's got two
incredible guards on both sides of him who are going to help him
out with the calls and make sure that he's ready. But Corey is
going to study hard, he's very well-coached and he's going to be
ready to go."