The Los Angeles Rams had perhaps the worst offensive line in the league throughout the 2016-17 NFL season. Fortunately, they got a massive upgrade at left tackle this offseason with the signing of three-time Pro Bowler, Andrew Whitworth.
At 35 years old, Whitworth is the oldest player on a team that has had the youngest roster in the league for nearly five years now. According to Myles Simmons of Rams, head coach Sean McVay said the veteran’s experience has already begun to rub off on the team:
“It is early but you see it right away. You get around him — even for me when you’re talking to him from a player’s perspective, on some of the things that you want to handle with the team — he’s been a great sounding board for me,” head coach Sean McVay said this week. “We feel very fortunate to have him. His presence has definitely been felt on our offense.”
Whitworth has seemingly embraced the expectations that have come with his signing, saying the best way for him to lead is by example:
“I think your voice, maybe, your assertiveness is probably last. I think that first is earning your way back to that position,” Whitworth said this week. “I think if you carry yourself the right way, you do things a certain way, guys will notice quick — this guy knows, has seen the right way.”
The veteran tackle is entering his 12th season in the NFL, meaning he has more league experience than Greg Robinson, Rob Havenstein, and Jamon Brown combined. Rodger Saffold, last season’s most veteran player, admitted to being a bit flustered at times with all the questions from the aforementioned lineman.
Perhaps even more important will be will be the effect it has on second-year quarterback Jared Goff. Last season, he was one of the most pressured quarterbacks in the league due to the team’s incompetence on the offensive line.