The 40-year-old left tackle, known for protecting quarterbacks throughout his career and became the “epitome of a leader” as the Los Angeles Rams Twitter account called him, announced his retirement on Tuesday, March 15 — ending a 16-season career that will spark conversations about his Hall of Fame candidacy: Four Pro Bowl appearances, two All-Pro nods, the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner and winning Super Bowl 56.
And the reactions poured over on “Big Whit” calling it a career.
‘We Not Me’ Helped Define Whitworth
Whitworth’s now former head coach Sean McVay was present when Whitworth decided to call it a career.
The 36-year-old McVay reflected on the impact Whitworth delivered — which featured a selfless attitude.
“There is nobody that has had a bigger impact than Andrew Whitworth on establishing the foundation, the culture of ‘We Not Me,’ and being a part of something bigger than yourself,” McVay told reporters.
McVay wasn’t the only prominent Ram to be thankful of the contributions Whitworth provided inside the “Rams House.” Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff also shared his thanks to Whitworth and his wife Melissa.
“Thank you to Andrew Whitworth, @mrs_whit77 and their kids for making our franchise and our city a better place. There are no words that describe the impact Andrew has had on our franchise and the people of LA but as the pictures below show good things happen to good people,” Demoff tweeted.
On the defensive side of the ball for the Rams, cornerback Jalen Ramsey posted his reaction on “Whit” calling it a career.
Outside of the Rams’ facility, even NFL journalists paid their respect to Whitworth. ESPN’s Adam Schefter was one of them.
“There weren’t more universally liked and respected players than the 40-year-old who made NFL history by becoming the oldest OT ever to play,” was an excerpt Schefter tweeted.
Laura Okmin of Fox Sports posted her favorite “photo bomb” that occurred after the Super Bowl. But also gave her own praise to Whitworth.
Local L.A. reporter Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times posted a picture capturing Whitworth having a moment with his daughter after winning his first career Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Greg Beacham, the Associated Press Rams beat reporter, mentioned the dominance Whitworth displayed in performing one of the toughest positions in football.
Rounding out the national reporters were the NFL Network’s Steve Wyche with this video:
But the praise stretched to fans, a fellow Super Bowl winning offensive lineman and a university Whitworth is familiar with.
Two-Time Super Bowl Winner Among those who Congratulated
Mark Schlereth says he may not know Whitworth well, but that didn’t stop him from posting this video, calling it an “honor and privilege” to have watched Whitworth performed on Sundays:
Schlereth and “Whit” may not have crossed paths, but Whitworth did cross through LSU. And his alma mater memorialized his entire career.
Finally, with the longtime blindside protector hanging it up, the Pro Football Hall of Fame made this announcement: