No pressure there, right?
Heck, even Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin offered to pray for the 6-3, 301-pound center from Ohio State.
Linsley is getting an NFL baptism by fire as a result of a compression fractured suffered to the knee of J.C. Tretter who was penciled in as the Packers starting center at the beginning of training camp.
Linsley quickly went from a guy expecting to ease into the NFL to a man on the hot seat. If he’s nervous it’s hard to not blame him. He’s got his hand on the ball every play and responsible for hiking that ball to and keeping upright arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers.
A two-year starter at Ohio State, Linsley played a lot of football in the highly competitive Big 10. What Linsley lacks in athleticism and experience he makes up for in strength and intelligence. Two assets that will be crucial to Linsley holding Seahawks veteran nose tackle Brandon Mebane in check.
It’s very possible Mebane will strike down Linsley with his strength and veteran savvy. But I have a hunch the Packers rookie will be just fine. To be honest, my gut feeling is Linsley is the guy that will hold the Packers center position for many years to come.
But back to Bruce Irvin and his prayers – he may want to add a Hail Mary or even a, ahem, Fail Mary on behalf of his teammate and rookie tackle Justin Britt. Cory Linsley may have his hands full with Brandon Mebane, but Britt a monstrous second round pick from Missouri will have Clay Matthews III and Julius Peppers in his grill all night long.
I wouldn’t forget about Mike Neal either.
This is a matchup that has Packers Nation counting their blessings. It will be interesting to see how Dom Capers uses Matthews and Peppers to set up the other and disrupt the Seahawks’ passing attack. Of course the Packers defensive looks were pretty vanilla in the preseason, I am sure Capers saved a few surprises for Britt, Russell Wilson and company.
Going into this game Corey Linsley making his first start as a rookie seems to grab more headlines than Seattle starting a rookie tackle.
The fact that Linsley is the first defense between the Seattle defense and Aaron Rodgers warrants the attention.
Amen to that!