Pro Bowl taps Whitworth
Ever since he made the move full-time to left tackle in 2009, just about everyone you bump into thinks Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth should be a Pro Bowler.
It took an injury to Denver’s Ryan Clady to do it Tuesday after Whitworth’s seventh NFL season, but it is a move endorsed not only by the people in his building but ex-teammates, and even other left tackles.
“I wouldn’t trade him for any left tackle in football,” Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander said Tuesday night. “He’s a terrific pass protector. He’s a great leader and I love how he represents us.”
Which was pretty much the reaction at last year’s Pro Bowl in Hawaii when Bengals.com asked Browns left tackle Joe Thomas and 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith about Whitworth’s absence.
“I’m not sure why he doesn’t get voted in; he’s one of those guys that’s deserving every year,” Thomas said that day in Hawaii. “You look at the tackles in the AFC and we’re very strong. It’s a question every year who is going to get in. I think Andrew deserves to be here.”
Smith, the former Bengal who practiced against Whitworth for two seasons and took a few snaps against him in a 2011 game at Paul Brown Stadium, agreed.
“He’s big as hell and you can’t teach big as hell. Whit’s a hell of a player. He can move, too. I would think he’s a top left tackle in the league,” Smith said. “It’s the same thing with Willie Anderson for all those years. Once he gets over here, he’ll be here for 10 years.”
On Tuesday, Whitworth, the AFC’s first alternate at tackle, became the first Bengals tackle to make the Pro Bowl since Anderson went to four straight from 2003-06. And he’s the first left tackle to make it since Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz went to 11 straight from 1981-91.
“This is recognition for Whit that we’ve felt was overdue,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said in a news release. “He’s been a key part of all our success in recent years, a great player on the field and a key leader in our locker room.”
You can read the rest of Geoff Hobson’s article HERE.