Hopefully, the 11 years of experience on the playoff-contending Cincinnati Bengals gives Andrew Whitworth expertise on witnessing improvement.
The new Los Angeles Rams left tackle, acquired via free agency in the offseason, spoke on Thursday on camera with the Rams official site (posted on the Rams Facebook page) about the three days of mini-camp.
Asked whether he saw improvement from Day 1 to Day 3 of camp, Whitworth responded, “I really can.
“I think the effort has been tremendous. I think (strength and conditioning) coach (Ted) Rath has really pressed on us how hard we’ve got to work in the weight room, and it applies to the football field. I thought the effort this week, really, for this early of a minicamp, it was great. The conditioning, the effort—it was there. And that’s where you want to start. Any great football team starts with the energy they put on the field.”
NFL rules allow teams with new head coaches to hold an extra voluntary veterans mini-camp, and the Rams were one of five teams to get the extras session.
Los Angeles, whose offense was worst in the league in points and yards in 2016, will have a decidedly different offensive line in 2017. The team signed Whitworth to become quarterback Jared Goff’s protector at left tackle. Free-agent center John Sullivan is expected to take the place of departed 2016 starting center Tim Barnes.
Greg Robinson is moving from left tackle to right tackle. Rob Havenstein is penciled in at right guard, and Roger Saffold could be at left tackle. Havenstein recently said that the linemen are being cross-trained to get the five best players up front on the field.
Whitworth is an immediate upgrade from Robinson, who manned left tackle last season. Robinson leads the league in penalties over the last two seasons and could be gone after the season if he doesn’t show progress in his development in 2017.