Corey Linsley: 2015 Packers Player Report Card

Corey Linsley

  • Age: 24
  • Ht./Wt: 6'3", 301lbs
  • College: Ohio State
  • NFL Experience: 2 years

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Expectations coming into the season:  After a surprising rookie season where he started every game as a fifth round draft choice and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team, expectations were set fairly high for Linsley. Linsley would be expected to once again anchor an offensive line that only allowed an NFL-best 9 sacks over the last half of 2014. Linsley would be the starter at center for the 2nd straight year, ending a four year span with a new starter every year.

Player’s highlights/low-lights: Linsley proved adept at and in sync with Aaron Rodgers when Rodgers was calling for a quick snap to gain an offsides or too many men on the field penalty. Those free plays won a few games for the Packers. His best game of the season was probably the playoff game against the Cardinals. He was dominant in the run game and allowed no sacks or even pressures on Rodgers. Linsley struggled Week 9 against the Panthers, where he was uncharacteristically manhandled on a few plays. He got thrown aside on one such play, allowing a quick pressure on Rodgers who then threw that late interception on the Panthers 5 yard line that effectively ended the game.

Level of Expectations met:  There was no doubt who the Packers starting center was, even after he missed four games and JC Tretter played well in his place. Linsley stepped right back in as the starter. In year two, however, Linsley did not take a forward step, in fact, he just did not play as well as he did as a rookie.  Linsley gave up 3 sacks on the year after only allowing 1 as a rookie.

Grade: C

Player’s contributions to team success:  Linsley and Rodgers were almost always on the same page in year two of Linsley's tenure as starter. He gets some credit for helping to create those free plays that Rodgers loves to exploit. Linsley had his first experience with semi-serious injuries, missing one quarter of the season. Overall, Linsley was adequate at center but did not make an impact to the same extent he did as a rookie.

Grade: C +

Player’s contributions in the playoffs:  Linsley seemed to find some of his old swagger back once the playoffs started. He played his best ball of the season against the Redskins and Cardinals.

Grade: B

Intangibles/misc: A players' second year has often been said by Mike McCarthy as the one where they make the biggest jump forward. While Linsley still played well enough to put him in the middle of the pack of NFL Centers (according to Pro Football Focus), his taking a step back is reason for some concern

Grade: C

 

Overall Grade:  C +

 

__________________________

"Jersey Al" Bracco is the Editor-In-Chief, part owner and wearer of many hats for CheeseheadTV.com and PackersTalk.com. He is also a recovering Mason Crosby truther.  

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Comments (17)

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KenEllis's picture

February 04, 2016 at 01:35 pm

Agree on the grading.

I was/am a big Linsley fan. Thought he was fantastic in 2014 as a rookie -- a 5th rounder who came in when Tretter went down and was not just adequate but a real asset.

What happened in 2015? He was barely average. Just a weird under-the-radar disappointment.

Lots of talk about 2nd year jump in GB, but if Linsley jumped it was backwards.

Hope he returns to 2014 form in 2016.

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Packer_Pete's picture

February 04, 2016 at 01:40 pm

Linsley to me was one of the most disappointing players of the season. I was hoping he would improve, as most players improve significantly from season 1 to 2. He didn't. We will see in 2016 whether this was just an injury-riddled exemption, or whether the rookie season was just a fluke.

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zoellner25's picture

February 04, 2016 at 01:50 pm

I like Linsley, but I like Tretter a lot more. Tretter gets to the second level and combo blocks better. I think the offense clicked better with Tretter. Tretter is better. Been saying it for 3 months.

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Bearmeat's picture

February 04, 2016 at 03:44 pm

It's a good thing we have both Tretter and Linsley next year. Tretter is a good guy to have as a 6th man. While Linsley wasn't bad, he wasn't great either - which was a disappointment after his surprising rookie season. If he doesn't improve this year, Tretter will be waiting...

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lou's picture

February 04, 2016 at 03:48 pm

This is one area where Thompson made all the right moves, letting Scott Wells sign elsewhere, EDS doing the same, and recognizing that Jeff Saturday had nothing left in the tank which led to drafting Linsley and Tretter. My guess is Linsley when healthy will approach his 2014 level of play and the experience Tretter got was invaluable, they didn't miss a beat when he started. Perfect scenario for the Packers, 2 proven solid young centers under contract looking ahead. Open the competition next Spring for the center position and let the best man win it.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 05, 2016 at 08:48 am

Yes, agree for the most part on TT but clearly signing Saturday was a $4 million dollar mistake. And once again it took our coaching staff eons to replace Saturday with EDS. But letting Wells walk was clearly the correct decision.

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

February 04, 2016 at 07:19 pm

Give the guy a break. The entire offensive line was routinely blocking 6-7 people because defenses were not afraid to jam every defender they had within 5 yards of the L.O.S. Sure, he didn't have the best season and he was injured for a part of it, but you can only do so much. When the offense starts clicking on all cylinders again he will be the center of old.

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Razer's picture

February 05, 2016 at 07:09 am

Great point Mr. Carpenter. When Jordy went down and Lacy went up, this offense lost its teeth. Defenses did play us differently and our O-line took a beating. I imagine that every game felt like playing uphill.

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lou's picture

February 05, 2016 at 11:06 am

Your short statement Razer put it in the best perspective i have heard to date "they felt like they were playing uphill", says it all in a nutshell.

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Kevin Carpenter's picture

February 04, 2016 at 07:22 pm

Even Josh Sitton, who went over 3 years without allowing a sack, had a rough season at some point. That can't be a coincidence.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2016 at 07:25 am

I don't think I have seen an OL get penalized more then Linsley for simply having brute strength. How many holding penalty's did he get this year when he pancaked a defender?

On the 3 sacks he allowed were they ones where he just got burned, or ones that were considered coverage sacks?

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Jersey Al's picture

February 05, 2016 at 07:48 am

Linsley was called for four holding penalties, one was declined.

http://www.nflpenalties.com/player/c-linsley-green-bay-packers?year=2015

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2016 at 08:03 am

So 5 penalty's against him. I'm willing to bet 4 of those were when he simply pancaked a defender.

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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2016 at 08:03 am

btw, that is a neat website. i haven't seen that before.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 05, 2016 at 11:43 am

Um, no, 4 penalties, 3 accepted, right?

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Since '61's picture

February 05, 2016 at 08:20 am

Linsley was a microcosm of the entire OL in 2015, not as effective as last season and injured for part of the year. I agree with the grade and expect that he will continue to improve going forward. He plays hard and he is a solid player. Thanks, Since '61

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

February 05, 2016 at 09:05 am

I agree with the article and general consensus that Linsley was just okay last season, and definitely took a step backwards.

I thought Linsley had some trouble in the run game against the behemoth Knighton (reputed to have been pushing 380 lbs) in the Washington game. Maybe my memory is at fault. Linsley had a rough game against Kwan Short and Lotulelei (I'd guess a number of centers had trouble with them).

I thought that in the first 6 games or so AR was able to step up in the pocket routinely because the three interior OL were rock steady, but that changed as the season wore on.

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