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Whitworth Named NFC Captain for 2018 Pro Bowl

Check out photos of Rams players taking part in the first day of festivities at the 2018 Pro Bowl.

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Logan Bowles/NFL

ORLANDO — Andrew Whitworth has been to his share of Pro Bowls.

Attending his fourth NFL All-Star game this season, Whitworth has an appreciation for everything the week and the game entails. That's part of what made being named one of the NFC's six captains on Wednesday special.

"It's just another one of those experiences when you've had the opportunity to play this long and have guys look up to you in that way, and your experience and, really, your knowledge and wisdom that you've gained over the years — to be able to have the opportunity to be a captain in a game like this is definitely another moment that will be special to me, and will be special to my kids, and my family," Whitworth said following Wednesday's practice. "So, yeah, it's kind of surreal. You don't really think about it, you're not really expecting it, but those little moments catch you and you realize how special this game's been to you."

"It's great. We were standing right behind when he was named a captain," Rams Pro Bowl kick returner Pharoh Cooper said. "He's got [12] years in the league, so it's cool to have one of our teammates of the guys that we rally behind every day. So it's cool for him to be named captain."

Whitworth had another one of those moments earlier in the day. Though Whitworth is a returning Pro Bowl attendee, this is his first time at the event as a Ram.

"Honestly, walking into the NFC locker room for the first time in this game was kind of a surreal experience," Whitworth said. "And I kind of sat there for a minute and thought, 'Wow, this is cool.' To have the opportunity, honestly, to play in both conferences in the Pro Bowl and represent two different teams, I think it's something that I'll look back, probably, when I'm done and cherish a moment like that."

But Whitworth sees every opportunity to come to the Pro Bowl as unique, which is part of why he continues to return to the event each time he's received the honor.

"It's a special game that's recognizing special players every season," Whitworth said. "And for me, it's an opportunity, really, not just for yourself, but to come here and see some of the guys that you have a ton of respect for, that you love watching every week, and you want to get a chance to tell them, 'Man, I love watching you play. I love seeing what a special player you are.' Get to be around some of those guys, have my kids around them, get a chance to meet them, and guys they watch on TV and are excited to cheer for — it's special, and it's rare. And I hope guys understand when they turn it down that you're turning down a moment 99 percent of the people who enjoy football would do anything to be a part of."

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