Is there a single player on the Bengals team more deserving? For years now, Andrew Whitworth has played exceptionally well at left tackle for the Bengals. He has been one of the best pass-protecting left tackles in the game, consistently keeping Andy Dalton, and Carson Palmer before him, clean of pressure from the blind side. He has also been a leader and a strong locker-room presence for a young team that need a good leader.
On Tuesday it was announced that Andrew Whitworth will be going to his first pro bowl. He was an alternate and will be taking the place of Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady, who won't be attending the pro bowl due to an injury. Whitworth is the fourth player to be named to the AFC pro bowl team. He'll be joined by defensive tackle Geno Atkins, wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham.
Whitworth, 31, said, "the old guy gets to join them," when he was asked how it felt to be joining the other three Bengals in Hawaii as all three of them are 24 years old.
When the pro bowl rosters were initially announced last month, Whitworth was obviously unhappy with the fact that he was passed up again for a spot. At that time he said that the pro bowl was a joke and nothing more than a popularity contest.
"It's a joke to me," he said Wednesday before the results were announced. "I don't worry about that stuff every year. I plan to try and make the playoffs and do what I do and that's it. That's all you can do. It doesn't matter one way or the other to me. I know people probably think that's crazy, but it really doesn't."
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said today in a press conference that Whitworth's recognition is long overdue.
"This is recognition for Whit that we've felt was overdue," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. "He's been a key part of all our success in recent years, a great player on the field and a key leader in our locker room."
Whitworth may not have been the first choice of fans for left tackle, but it's better late than never. Whitworth is certainly deserving of a spot on the pro bowl roster and a smal vacation to Hawaii to play in a game that doesn't matter and is boring as hell to watch.