The LA Rams may find that replacing now-retired offensive left tackle Andrew Whitworth is not as easy as simply promoting the next man to his vacated role as the anchor on the offensive line, the blindside to veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. Now, this is not a knock on the Rams’ young and promising left tackle Joseph Noteboom, who is all but assured of the starting role at left tackle this year. It’s simply an observation, as Noteboom will need to grow into that starting role.
And in the process, errors and mistakes may present themselves as part of the growth process.
That growth process will fall into a similar pattern no matter who slides into that starting role. It was cemented into place immediately following the LA Rams‘ victory in Super Bowl LVI. As some cried tears of the purest joy, 16-year veteran Andrew Whitworth chose a different way to celebrate his Super Bowl victory.
He sat down on the football field and told his children, as blue and yellow celebratory confetti fell upon his head and massive shoulders, that he had played his last football game. A lauded and lengthy football career, in that moment of the simplest conversation from a father to his four children: Sarah and Drew (twins), Michael, and Katherine; had run its course. This chapter was over.
It was such a Whitworth way to tell the NFL that he was hanging up his shoulder pads and cleats, by telling his children first. Priorities? The Whitworth family has them in the right order.
But the emotions of the moment eventually fade into the reality of tomorrow. Remember when the entire LA Rams organization chanted ‘Run it back!’? Well, nine contributing players from that roster have already signed contracts to play for other NFL teams. Three other players, including WR Odell Beckham Jr., are still in limbo, awaiting the chance to sign a new contract with an NFL team to play football in 2022.
While there is little chance to lure Whitworth back to the offensive line, why not extend an offer to add him to the coaching staff, even if just in a part-time or temporary assignment? After all, that would keep one of the best at what he did in close proximity to the LA Rams. But more than just an emotionally charged reunion, we can think of three reasons to keep Whitworth involved with these LA Rams.