Across 11 seasons as a Cincinnati Bengal, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth shared the identical discipline 19 times with AFC North counterpart Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns.
Thomas became once an all-time gargantuan, earning Legit Bowl bids in 10 of his 11 seasons with six first-team All-Legit selections whereas striking collectively an wonderful lumber of 10,363 snaps played.
Now a stalwart on the NFC Champion Rams offensive line, Whitworth is prepping for the Substantial Bowl, whereas Thomas, who shined amid the struggles of the Browns for the tenure of his occupation, has moved on into retirement.
Surrounded by the pomp and circumstance of Substantial Bowl Opening Evening, Whitworth took a second to put all of it into standpoint.
“It be intellectual humbling to mediate what Joe did with the Browns,” Whitworth stated by technique of The Columbus Dispatch’s Steve Doerschuk. “It turns out I’ve played extra video games than Joe did at this point, however he had the improbable snap lumber … extra than 10,000 in a row.
“Then he retired on the quit of ultimate yr. That in actuality made me mediate. If Joe Thomas is retiring, what does that enlighten about what I desires to be doing?”
Turns out Whitworth desires to be doing staunch what he is doing, anchoring an comely and presumably overpassed L.A. offensive line that is been a fixed for the Rams’ excessive-octane offense.
With three Legit Bowls and a pair of All-Legit nods to his credit, Whitworth has done plenty with his occupation, too. At 37, he’s played in 199 video games with 195 begins, surpassing Thomas, who’s 34 and started in all 167 video games he played.
“It might perchance well per chance presumably perchance presumably contain been good if Joe had gotten to expertise something savor this,” Whitworth stated.
Retirement in actuality never became once all that discontinuance for Whitworth it appears to be like, he staunch would contain overlooked all of it too powerful.
“In actuality when I sat down and weighed it, I stated you perceive what I staunch esteem the game too powerful,” Whitworth stated by technique of NFL transcript. “I if truth be told savor the chance of being in the locker room too powerful and felt savor I could perchance presumably perchance also composed play at a excessive level and so for me it if truth be told became once staunch you perceive what I am gonna sustain pressing on.”
But Thomas has moved on, more possible to remain in the hallowed halls of the Buckeye Philosophize with a region in the NFL Hall of Popularity in Canton. Whitworth has excelled regardless of his age, having started all however one customary season sport in his two years with the Rams, serving to their ascent to the tip of the NFC West and now their hunch to Substantial Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
“To be the oldest offensive lineman in the league and contain a risk to play on this sport is gargantuan and something that I worked 13 years for and played, I do no longer know, 12-13,000 snaps in NFL soccer to contain this probability,” Whitworth stated, “so I couldn’t be extra mad and if truth be told staunch pumped up for the second of going accessible and having this probability.”
In his 13th season, Whitworth is composed taking part in at a excessive level and now has a risk to help the Rams bring dwelling the perfect honor.
“I composed in actuality esteem to play the game,” he stated, “and I am blessed with a aim to sustain taking part in it.”