NEWS & EVENTS

Print
RSS

Whitworth Establishing Leadership on Offense

Posted Jun 2, 2017

As the oldest player on the Rams roster, LT Andrew Whitworth has embraced his role as a leader not just for the offense, but for the entire team.

Andrew Whitworth looks like a left tackle.

Listed at 6-foot-7 and 333 pounds, Whitworth is easy to spot whether he’s walking around the facility or on the field — even without pads. He sports the type of size and athleticism any offense would want as a lead blocker or protecting the quarterback’s blindside.

The oldest player on the Rams roster at 35, Whitworth was brought in not only to stabilize the left tackle position, but also to infuse the offensive unit with veteran leadership. And while Los Angeles still has months before kicking off the season, head coach Sean McVay said this week the club is already experiencing the benefits of having Whitworth on board.

“It is early but you see it right away. You get around him — even for me when you’re talking to him from a player’s perspective, on some of the things that you want to handle with the team — he’s been a great sounding board for me,” head coach Sean McVay said this week. “We feel very fortunate to have him. His presence has definitely been felt on our offense.”

Whitworth knew the expectations for him both on the field and around the building coming in and has embraced the leadership role, saying he’s always taken the approach of working with others rather than telling them what to do. But coming to a new team after 11 years with Cincinnati, the left tackle figured he’d take some time getting to know the Rams’ personalities first.

“I think your voice, maybe, your assertiveness is probably last. I think that first is earning your way back to that position,” Whitworth said this week. “I think if you carry yourself the right way, you do things a certain way, guys will notice quick — this guy knows, has seen the right way.”

“Walking in here, I could see the veterans on the team that I saw, hey, just a day or two of being around this guy, he does it the right way — he carries himself the right way,” Whitworth continued. “People can feel it. Guys can feel it. And so for me, it’s just continuing to be that. And as time goes on and I develop an opportunity that it’s needed, I’ll use it.”

Between the additions of Whitworth and center John Sullivan, younger offensive linemen like Rob Havenstein have enjoyed learning from the veterans’ experience.

“They just have a pool of knowledge and anything we can take from them — I think a lot of those guys have been answering our questions that we’ve had for them,” Havenstein said. “And they’re not afraid to offer their help, too, which is a great thing for us.”

That extends past just the offensive line. Whitworth was with the Bengals when they transitioned at quarterback from Carson Palmer to Andy Dalton, gaining plenty from that experience.

“Andy and I were very close and spent a lot of time trying to pull that thing and trying to get us to being a winner year in and year out. I’ll still hear from him now, if things come up or questions or those kinds of things,” Whitworth said. “So I welcome that relationship with Jared, and I’m sure that will develop as well.”

And so far, Whitworth’s impressions of Goff have been quite positive.

“I think honestly I see a guy who’s hungry, he’s thirsty, he’s asking the right questions. I would say — and I’ve said this before — I think his personality is a little more similar to Carson to me,” Whitworth said. “Carson was a little more of a, call it California, Southern Cal personality — very laid back, confident. And I think Jared’s that way.

“I think it’s just getting him to let it out and be confident, be assertive and run the show,” Whitworth added, “because at the end of the day, we all go as far as the quarterback goes. So it’s our job to make his job easier.”