Joseph Noteboom has spent the first four years of his career as a backup offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams. While he did spend some time as the starting left guard and left tackle due to injuries, he largely played second fiddle to Andrew Whitworth.
Following the Rams win in Super Bowl LVI, Whitworth chose to enter retirement after an illustrious career at the left tackle position. And while normally, a retiring left tackle would leave a team in desperate need of a new face, the Rams already had Noteboom ready to go.
L.A. prepared for this moment four years ago with the acquisition of Noteboom from the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, after learning from one of the best in the modern era to play the position, Noteboom is ready to take the leap to full-time starter, according to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“Being behind him, there’s no other better situation in the league,” Noteboom said. “Sixteen-year vet, Walter Payton Man of the Year, I mean, to step into this role, I’ve had a blueprint for it for four years. I was watching his every move on and off the field, so that’s what gives me confidence to go into this position.”
The Rams are hopeful that they won’t experience a drop-off after losing a Pro Bowl left tackle. And they showed their commitment to Noteboom by signing him to a three-year, $40 million contract in free agency. The new Rams starter absolutely could have looked for other teams, but said he never wanted any other outcome than to return to L.A.
And with Matthew Stafford receiving a lucrative extension of his own, the Rams offensive core appears to be locked up for the foreseeable future. Noteboom will be protecting Stafford’s blind side as he finds Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson downfield.
Noteboom will also bring some athletic legs to assist Cam Akers in the run-blocking game. After tearing his Achilles and only returning for the postseason, Akers will have an entire offseason to get back to full strength.
Stafford and Robinson excited to play together
After the historic season put together by Kupp in 2021, the Rams have brought in significant reinforcements in the form of Robinson. While the former Chicago Bears wide receiver had a difficult 2021 season, bad quarterback play could easily be blamed for the lack of production.
Now, Robinson will play with what could be the best quarterback of his career in Stafford, and both players are excited about the opportunity.