Is Andrew Whitworth contemplating returning to the LA Rams?
By Bret Stuter
You can take the man out of the NFL. But can you ever take the NFL out of the man? That is certainly a question and discussion worth posing to LA Rams’ now-retired offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. After all, all Andrew Whitworth has known for the previous 16 years is showing up to learn the latest new wrinkles in the offensive playbook, meet his new coaches and teammates, and get ready to play another season of NFL football.
This year, it’s all changed. Or has it?
You might think that the LA Rams would be facing a new season without the presence of Andrew Whitworth in training camp, right? Well if you did, you would be wrong. Big Whit is showing up. Is it just curiosity, habit, or perhaps something more?
For a guy who has just retired, it appears that letting go of football is not as easy to do as it is to say. The guy is a treasure trove of NFL knowledge, experiences, and stories that could fill novels. He is actually older than head coach Sean McVay, a fact that ended up giving McVay cause to entrust Whitworth with a level of trust and confidential discussions that are uncommon in NFL circles between players and coaches.
Old habits may be hard to break. But does anyone really want Whitworth to stay away? For that matter, does Andrew Whitworth?
Some have whispered the thought (or is it just the hope) that Andrew Whitworth is staying in football shape, and is remaining so in case the LA Rams need him to return to the team to help make a playoff run for Super Bowl LVII. After all, the Rams were able to add formerly retired Eric Weddle in time to reinforce the secondary for the NFL Playoffs.
But that would certainly undermine the Rams’ confidence in OT Joseph Noteboom, wouldn’t it? After all the LA Rams re-signed the guy to a contract that screams ‘I’m the new starting left tackle,’ with the amount of compensation and the number of years. It would be a bit foolish to go back on that commitment this early out of the gates. Even if nothing more than an emergency Plan B option, it would not bode well for trying to synch up the offensive line.
But the Rams may be wise to bring Whitworth on board as an intern or associate coach. That role would continue to provide access to Whitworth’s vast football knowledge and guidance while ensuring the young players are not looking over their shoulders at the possibility of Whitworth taking their job.
Whatever way the LA Rams can work out some justification to keep Andrew Whitworth plugged into this team is ideal. After all, Big Whit has been a big reason for the LA Rams’ big success.