In an interview with Colin Cowherd, Andrew Whitworth provided some insight on the Cincinnati Bengals, their ownership, and Joe Burrow.
One of the greatest players in Cincinnati Bengals’ history, Andrew Whitworth, recently had a lot to say about his former organization in a talk with Colin Cowherd. He was probed about a variety of topics, from the Bengals free agency period to the potential of Joe Burrow in stripes, and he brought a unique perspective to the circumstances.
Whitworth, who is now the left tackle for the Rams, has seen both sides of the coin. He played 11 years with the Bengals organization, so he intimately understands how things are run and provides an insider’s view. Now that he’s on the west coast, however, he can bring an outside perspective to the table as well.
Cowherd kicked things off by asking Whitworth how worried he is for Burrow, considering the difficulty of the division he’ll most likely be stepping into, the AFC North. The 38-year-old tackle responded by saying he thinks the division will present challenges for his fellow former LSU tiger, but that Burrow could bring what the Bengals need,
"“In some ways, I love the matchup because you look at his career, and really, the adversity he had to face and you always hear… persevere and battle and overcoming adversity are always things you hear him talking about… They’re gonna need a guy who’s got a little bit of an attitude.”"
Whitworth comes at this question with an angle that many haven’t. The Bengals have struggled with plenty of adversity themselves, from untimely quarterback injuries on the brink of a playoff runs to last-second wildcard meltdowns. Burrow and his recent history, on the other hand, make it seem like nothing could ever go wrong for him again.
That wasn’t always the case though. He struggled through a recruiting experience that saw him face rejection from the school he really wanted to attend, Nebraska. Once in the college ranks, he was forced to transfer after suffering an injury that may have ultimately led to him losing the quarterback competition. Still, he battled back and ended up winning it all. The Heisman Trophy, a national championship, you name it, and Burrow won it.
His presence alone could help the Bengals get back up off the mat in a similar fashion.
The conversation between Cowherd and Whitworth then turned to the Bengals historic free agency period, where the front office bucked their usual approach to back up the brinks truck to a number of top tier players on the market. Whitworth started out his response by saying, perhaps half-way joking and half-way serious, that it was aggravating.
That would certainly be understandable, considering the way things played out when he was in contract negotiations with the Bengals a few years ago. But he quickly pivoted, talking about what the spending spree means for Burrow and how the approach from ownership has differed since he was in orange and black,
"“You know, I think it’s a good message. And to me, I think they know they’re about to pick a kid in Joe Burrow who is special. He seems to have a charisma and really, just a swag about him to be a good football player. You hear him say all the right things and really, you see the way his team rallied around him last year… I think they know, you know what, we really need to make sure that this kid knows that we are committed to trying to win.”"
Whitworth then goes on to talk about how he thinks ownership is also trying to send a message to Zac Taylor and his coaching staff.
Finally, he dives into how things worked during his tenure with the Bengals,
"“I think at times in the past… you felt, hey we gotta draft perfectly… the coaches gotta do an amazing job but we’re never really gonna pay… like, ownership, you help us out. Bring in a couple guys that talent-wise, just make us better.”"
These comments highlight just how quickly things have shifted in the Queen City. Last year’s disappointing season, Taylor’s presence, and the impending arrival of Joe Burrow have led to a major shakeup of the way things are run in Cincinnati.
While Whitworth’s playing days in stripes didn’t end the way anybody wanted them to, he seems to hold no ill-will towards his former employers and seems optimistic about the path they’re on.