PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 12: Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on December 12 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Many within the organization, especially the coaching staff, probably exhale a noticeable sigh of relief when thinking about those days. Chad Ochocinco, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the circus of players that couldn't end their association with temper-tantrums, courts and law enforcement. Those days are gone and only small minded people still affix those charactertures to Cincinnati. But sometimes it's good to look back and see how far this team has come.
“Since I came here in '06, we laugh about it all the time,” Whitworth said. “(The atmosphere) is not even in the vicinity of the same thing. Not even close.”
Paul Dehner Jr. with CBSSports.com offers up a perspective that features Whitworth as the team's obvious leader with a praise-worthy quote from head coach Marvin Lewis.
“On a daily basis he does things as the leader of the football team that speaks volumes,” Lewis said. “Not only is he a leader in that way, it's playing, it's also as their player rep. There are lot of things that Andrew is looked to as kind of the mountaintop.”
For some reason the Cincinnati Bengals have relied on the leadership of their offensive linemen with spats of interchangeable players throughout the years. Prior to Whitworth, it was Bobbie Williams. Prior to Williams, it was Willie Anderson and Jon Kitna. Unlike those squads though you get the feeling that this team is comprised more of leaders than mindless followers, none of whom characterize those years when individuality was a spreading virus.