Andrew Whitworth: Leadership Through Play And Character

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Andrew Whitworth, the Bengals left tackle has proven himself to be the de facto leader of the offense, if not the whole team. He has earned this distinction through his play and his character. Whitworth was drafted by the Bengals in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Despite being projected as more suited to play left guard, he has ended up as one of the top left tackles in the NFL. Whitworth has been the every day starter at left tackle since the 2009 season and has not missed a game in the past two season. Pro Football Focus, a comprehensive player review site, graded Whitworth with a score of 24.6, which was tops in the league. Jake Long out of Miami, garnered the second highest grade of 24.3.

Whitworth took over as the Bengals player representative with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and has taken his duty very seriously.  He stated,

"I took it with great importance to go after this job the way that they needed me too and to service everything that they'd want to know and every question that they'd have. I felt as a leader - and not only in the locker room but as a leader in the NFLPA front - that would be the best way to lead them."

 Whitworth is also extremely active in the community. His charity, Big Whit 77 Foundation, has been a great success and Whitworth always strives to bring Bengals players together to participate during his charity events. Andy Dalton credited Whitworth for inviting him to this years Big Whit 77 Foundation golf outing. This event gave him his first chance to meet Bengal teammates allowing him to being developing a repertoire with them. This opportunity, which Whitworth created, has made Dalton's transition as a leader much smoother.    

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