One of the best things a team can do to help a young quarterback is give him a veteran center.
That’s what the Chargers have done for 2020 offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert in signing former Packer Corey Linsley to a five-year, $62.5 million deal.
Linsley has been a starter since he was a rookie out of Ohio State in 2014, and as such knows plenty about leading the five up front. Plus, he was snapping the ball to one of the best to ever do it in Aaron Rodgers, which means Linsley had a front-row seat for Rodgers’ preparation habits.
“Aaron is the best in the business for a reason. And any type of advice I can give from him for the operation — 90 percent of what you see on TV from what Aaron done, that’s all preparation. It takes a lot of time and he had a hand in creating it,” Linsley said during an interview with the Chargers’ website. “So for me to be around that for seven years, hopefully I can bring a lot of that to the table in how Aaron prepares, how our operation was. He’s very creative. It’s impressive — it was impressive to watch him. Hopefully, I can bring that with my presence here.”
The next step for Linsley will be building chemistry for the critical relationship between center and quarterback, which won’t happen overnight.
“We can talk about it as much as you want, but it’s going to take reps. And we’re going to have to get extra reps, get the feel for how [Herbert] wants the ball snapped, where he wants it,” Linsley said. “And a lot of that is going to take time, we’re going to have to put in extra work. But it needs to be done, so we’ll do it.”
It’s still unclear what the NFL’s offseason program will look like, but Linsley and Herbert will likely spend plenty of time together regardless to start building their partnership for the fall.