Aug 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andrew Whitworth (77) talks to former teammate, Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson (32) at the end of the game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Packers defeated the Bengals 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Whitworth, Big Whit, Big #77, the leader of the offensive line, and who seemingly has been with the Cincinnati Bengals forever, was drafted 55th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. Whitworth, like most rookie lineman, was a special teamer initially.
After an injury to Pro Bowl LT Levi Jones, those plans changed and Whitworth came in off the bench and started in 12 games. 10 of his 12 starts were at LT, as he filled in admirably for Jones and helped the Bengals maintain their #8 ranking in total offense. Whitworth didn’t start full-time at left tackle until the 2009 season, and the rest has been history.
2009 saw Whitworth first full-time year at left tackle, and he allowed only 5 sacks and helped Cedric Benson and the Bengals ground game gain 1251 rushing yards. Whit started all 16 games and was graded as Pro Football Focus’ 5th best LT. The Bengals won the AFC North in 2009 by sweeping the division and hosted a home playoff game to the New York Jets.