We were all surprised when the Los Angeles Rams signed LT Andrew Whitworth. We expected Greg Robinson to be moved, but this was a splash signing that few saw coming. I reached out the the SB Nation affiliate for the Cincinnati Bengals to get a feel for the Rams new LT.
Props to Rebecca from Cincy Jungle. She was none to happy that Whitworth is leaving, but she took the time nonetheless to answer some questions for us.
At 35, Whitworth is getting a bit long in the tooth - especially in the young man's NFL. He's played at a high level in recent years, but there is obviously some concern over at TST about his play dropping off. Has Whitworth aged gracefully in recent years? Should Rams fans expect continued Pro Bowl play from him?
Whitworth has showed almost no signs of aging. It's quite frankly incredible. I think you could argue that 2015 was his best season ever and 2016 was close behind. So far, he has not regressed, has defied aging and is undoubtedly among the top 5 left tackles in the league. In 2016, Whitworth allowed only 14 total quarterback pressures across 561 pass-blocking snaps, and I believe was responsible for just 4 sacks. I'm not sure he'll hold up for another 3 years at that level, just because, that would really be crazy... But maybe he will because he's shown no reason to think he can't do it. He's so durable, has started 55 consecutive games, and is just a team player through and through. I can't say enough good things about him. He's a great guy, amazing locker room leader and the ultimate NFL player.
What kind of leader was Whitworth along the Bengals OL? The Rams OL is an extremely green group and could use that veteran presence to act as a coach on the field. Can Whitworth be that guy?
As I started to hint at, Whitworth has been the leader of the Bengals' locker room as a whole for years, and of course the OL for about a decade now. I really can't imagine a better mentor if you have a young group and I'm confident Goff will love him. It's funny that he's actually older than your coach. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to your blocking schemes because he's been with the Bengals for 11 years, his entire NFL career. So, will he adjust quickly? Well? Those would be the questions. But when it comes to being a leader, there are few better leaders in the NFL. He's your guy.
Rams fans have David Carr syndrome. We've watched Sam Bradford and now Jared Goff get mauled due to poor OL play. Will Whitworth solve that issue for Rams fans? What was his relationship like with Andy Dalton? Was their trust there?
I'm not sure there's anyone Andy Dalton loves more than Andrew Whitworth. I think this is going to be really hard on him. Dalton has rightfully trusted Whit for his entire career. I believe Whitworth gave up zero sacks in 2015. 4 in 2016... That's why he's trustworthy. I don't think Whitworth can solve all of your oline problems on his own... but, he's definitely a step in the right direction and can be trusted to the fullest extent.