Rodgers, Linsley have to deal with noise

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In the simplest terms, here's what the Green Bay Packers face Thursday at Seattle: Aaron Rodgers will try to run the no-huddle offense in the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL with a center who has never snapped to him in a game.

And he will have to do so against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, who had the NFL's best defense in 2013.

There are many facets to the 2014 NFL opener, but perhaps none is more important than how the Packers' offense operates at CenturyLink Field.

When last we saw the Seahawks on a national stage, they were thoroughly dismantling the Denver Broncos' top-ranked offense on the way to a 43-8 Super Bowl victory.

The Packers aspire to field a fast-paced offense like the one Peyton Manning quarterbacks. But even Manning couldn't do that against the Seahawks.

And Rodgers was there to see it in person at the Super Bowl, watching from a luxury box.

"They got into a rhythm there with their pass rush and with their coverages [and] made some good plays," Rodgers said. "I think it's about film preparation. Watching in person is one thing, but seeing it on film is different. You get to see two angles and miss, you know you get to see some of the plays you missed while you're having chips and salsa or hot dogs or whatever it might be up in the box -- which was nice and warmer than some of the outdoor seats."

Rodgers has seen first-hand how the Seahawks can disrupt an offense. In the 2012 Fail Mary game, they sacked Rodgers eight times -- all in the first half. The Packers shored up the protection in the second half but still couldn't manage much offense, scoring just 12 points that night.

So enter a rookie center, fifth-round pick Corey Linsley, who inherited the starting center job a week ago after JC Tretter sustained a knee injury. Linsley did not stake a single preseason game snap with Rodgers, who sat out the summer finale. And in Linsley's 22 snaps last Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers ran just three plays of no-huddle offense.

Maybe the Packers' plan is not to use the no-huddle this week in Seattle, where the noise will make it even tougher on Linsley.

Whatever their plan, the Packers expect him to handle the job.

"You know, Corey's a smart guy," Rodgers said. "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. 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's going to study hard. He's very well-coached, and he's going to be ready to go."

For his part, Linsley seems at ease with his responsibilities. Backup quarterback Matt Flynn noticed that from the moment Linsley found out he would be the starter.

"They're like, 'All right, you're the starter,' so he just quietly walked up there and started taking reps," Flynn said. "He's been impressive."

He was the same way with the crowd of reporters who surrounded his locker Sunday after the Packers' first day of regular-season practice. Near the end of a 10-minute session with the media, the topic turned to loud stadiums he played in when he was at Ohio State.

He mentioned Nebraska's Memorial Stadium and Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium.

But what about Michigan Stadium, which holds 109,101 fans?

Like any Ohio State alum would of his archrival, Linsley calmly said: "Michigan is quiet, really quiet. Probably the quietest stadium in the Big Ten."