Andrew Whitworth’s friends are putting on quite a show right now

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams offensive line was once a punchline among NFL analysts. They are now the gold standard, well at least as far as veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford is concerned. You see, the funny part about all of this is that per Over The, the LA Rams spending on offensive linemen is 27th-ranked in the NFL.

In short, the Rams are rather frugal.

One of the contributing factors to the affordability of the unit is the fact that the team has invested in young players as well as veterans. So young, in fact, that the team faces two starters with expiring contracts in 2020. That is, their rookie contracts expire. They are offensive center Brian Allen and offensive guard Austin Corbett.

The Rams front office faces a different type of personnel challenge as well. You see, this is the year that venerable Andrew Whitworth turns 40 years of age, a goal that he had set years ago as the last year of his NFL career. Should he follow throw with that promise, he will likely retire after this year.

So how does this menagerie of youth and wise veterans mesh? Pretty well, it seems. What am I base that on? Well, quarterback sacks for one thing. According to a recent social media offering by CBS Sports, Matthew Stafford is benefitting from the best protection of his NFL career.

We talk about the Rams’ talented receivers. We talk about the ability of Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to throw the long ball. But it all starts with the protection. The LA Rams offensive linemen may be a kaleidoscope of age and background, but they are a talented and fierce bunch of bodyguards for their quarterback right now.

And it all starts with Andrew Whitworth. After the 2019 season, it was Whitworth that hosted workouts for his teammates at his home. It was Whitworth that gave disheartened teammates daily doses of pep talks. It was Whitworth that came back from a serious knee injury to rejoin his teammates in the 2020 NFL Playoffs.

It’s Whitworth who is leading the group to greatness this year.

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There will be a huge void at the offensive line when Whitworth hangs up his shoulder pads and retires. But for now, his friends and teammates are making the best of the present day. They are all putting on quite a show because none want to be the guy who lets Andrew Whitworth down in what may be his last season in the NFL.