Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin's attempt last week to psych out Green Bay Packers center Corey Linsley worked. Kind of.
Irvin promised to pray for Linsley because it was "going to be a long night" for the rookie making his first start on the road against the NFL's best defense. Linsley said he saw the Irvin's comments as sat in his hotel room, trying to calm his nerves.
The timing wasn't great. Inside, his initial response wasn't positive.
"It kind of got me aggravated," Linsley said. "I had just gotten past the anxiety of everything, and I felt comfortable and confident going into the game. Then, I was like, 'Man, these guys are after my head. I'm going to have the best defense in the league after my head.'
"I had to get over it. It took me a couple hours to get over it."
Linsley said he called his girlfriend. They didn't talk about Irvin's comments, but their conversation helped ease his anxiety anyway.
The rookie also texted veteran left guard Josh Sitton. At the time, Sitton hadn't seen Irvin's comments. Once he did, he made sure Linsley used it as positive motivation.
"I sent him the article. He was like, 'Oh man, you need that to get you fired up,'" Linsley said. "I was like, 'Yeah, yeah.' I was all in, and he helped me with it too. When I came in the locker room, everyone knew it. (Offensive line coach James Campen) had it printed out for me. He was like, 'Do I even need to give you the article?' I was like, 'Hell no, you don't need to give me the article.'
"I'm glad they did that because it got me to not feel comfortable anymore and still get ready for the game. It got me fired up so I'm glad he said that."
Linsley, replacing the injured JC Tretter, impressed in his first start. His plus-2.2 grade from Pro Football Focus was the second-highest on the offensive line, behind Sitton.
His second career will come 3:25 p.m. Sunday when the Packers host the New York Jets in their home opener at Lambeau Field.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood