Talk of Fame Network
Fifth-round draft pick Corey Linsley wasn’t supposed to be Green Bay’s starting center last year, but he was. Forced to step in after J.C. Tretter was injured late in preseason, Linsley not only started every game for the Packers -- including the conference championship loss to Seattle – he played remarkably well.
Linsley credits his teammates on the offensive line – particularly guards TJ Lang and Josh Sitton -- for helping him through a difficult situation. But he credits an unlikely source, too: The guy he’s supposed to protect.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“The biggest thing was that he was calm with me off the field,” Linsley said on the Talk of Fame Network’s Countdown to the Draft broadcast. “Aaron’s a perfectionist. He wants everything at practice to be on schedule and perfect.
“(But) he’s a good guy, too. He’s an easy guy to talk to. If you go up to ask him a question (such as) ‘Why are we doing this? And what’s this like?’ He’ll talk it through with you. So that was extremely beneficial. I was extremely grateful to him.”
Linsley was part of an offense that led the NFL in scoring and took the Packers to the NFC championship game – where Green Bay came this close to victory, losing in overtime after blowing a 16-point lead. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Of course, neither was a rookie starting at center.
“I felt a lot of pressure, without a doubt,” Linsley said. “The center is the guy who has to get the ball to the most important guy on the field. A quarterback in any offense drives it, and ours is pretty damned good to begin with.
“Number one, I didn’t want to let down all these guys who had been around for six, seven, eight years and driving for a championship or guys who were trying to attain it for the first time. That was my main thing. I didn’t want to let my teammates down and screw this thing up. But Josh and TJ were a huge help to me, teaching me the offense and bearing with me.”