The Los Angeles Chargers still have a hole at left tackle, but they filled a significant gap this offseason, signing star center Corey Linsley away from Green Bay.
The 29-year-old center, coming off his first All-Pro selection, spent seven seasons with Aaron Rodgers, forming one of the best pairings in the NFL. The MVP QB often spoke glowingly about how Linsley's pivot played a vital role in the Packers' success.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley believes signing Linsley this offseason will bring the same kind of boon to young quarterback Justin Herbert.
"We wanted to become a bigger team," Staley said of their offensive line additions thus far, via the team's official transcript. "When you sign who we feel like is the best center in football in Corey Linsley -- a commander -- and who's a guy that has all of the leadership intangibles that that position acquires, then you have him and [QB] Justin Herbert running the show in the middle of your offense, we feel like that's going to be a winning edge for us.
"You know who [Linsley] has been partnering up with in his career [Packers QB Aaron Rodgers], one of the special guys in the league. Now, Justin and Corey can team up to be one of those special tandems in the league. I think the big thing with Corey is that we feel like he is a difference-maker. There are a lot of centers that are good players, but who is a difference-maker? We feel like Corey is a difference-maker in more ways than one -- certainly with his physical skills, but then all of the intangible stuff, too."
Playing the pivot, Linsley is the brains of the operation, able to aid the quarterback, set the blocking plan, and help with any audible situations. The veteran's acumen and experience should be a big help to Herbert.
There remains work to be done along the Chargers offensive line, but adding that difference-making talent and brain in the middle should help make Herbert's pockets cleaner and his life easier in 2021 and beyond.