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Joe Noteboom on re-signing with Rams, Andrew Whitworth’s impact

Joe Noteboom is ready to embrace role and responsibility of a starter

Rams vs Bucs in Tampa Bay, FL. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Joseph Noteboom cashed in last Monday, signing a three-year $40 million deal to stay with the Los Angeles Rams. The homegrown left tackle will step in to replace Andrew Whitworth, protecting Matthew Stafford’s blindside for the foreseeable future. Noteboom took time to share his appreciation for Big Whit, along with explaining his desire to return to the Rams over the unknown of free agency.

The added responsibility of being a starter has Noteboom’s motivation at an all-time high

“It’s definitely a good feeling. The best part is knowing the coaches have the confidence in you to sign you back to a contract here and just put you in that spot. But, it’s also a challenge. Being the guy now comes with a little more responsibility, so it’s motivating me more than ever to be the guy.”

Head coach Sean McVay often stated the Rams viewed Noteboom as a starting caliber left tackle. They proved it by signing him to a lucrative contract, while also providing the team with some flexibility by adding voided years at the end of the deal to lessen the cap hits.

Returning to the Rams was the priority

“I wanted to come back here. That was my main thought. We got it done before free agency I believe, or the day it started. Pretty much the goal was to come back here and it worked.”

The offseason would look a lot different if LA was unable to retain Noteboom’s services. Thankfully, the organization was able to get a deal done. Noteboom would have likely been a hot commodity had he chosen to truly test free agency, as general manager Les Snead confirmed the Rams received calls from teams looking to trade for him prior to the trade deadline.

Whitworth set a great example by doing things the right way

“I look at it as the perfect situation. There’s no other guy in the league I would have rather been behind those four years. That gives me confidence going into it, just sitting behind a guy who does everything the right way on and off the field. It’s given me confidence going into this.”

The former 2018 third-round draft pick also praised Whitworth for being a true professional, cited his charity work in the community, and took note on how he took care of his body. Noteboom believes that will be one of the biggest differences between his former role as a backup and now taking the reins as a starting left tackle in the league.

Missing the Super Bowl was a necessary evil to avoid a potentially significant injury

“It’s definitely bittersweet. In the Tampa game, we went out there won the game, but it was like one of the last plays, I felt something was strange. Figured out the next few days it wasn’t a strain. I was trying to get back for the Super Bowl. Didn’t really get a practice, didn’t know if I was really healthy enough to play. I think the risk of re-injuring it, it was a little too early to go back out there and then risk having it fully tear, have surgery. I think the risk was too high.”

Though he wasn’t able to get cleared in time to play in the Super Bowl after suffering a partially torn pectoral, he did enjoy watching some of the veterans win the Lombardi trophy. He also made it clear that he is fully recovered and 100 percent ready to go for OTA’s. And if he gets stranded on the way, he knows who to call.