News

Print
RSS

Hopeful Whit charged by AC

Posted Sep 4, 2013

It's a great testament to Anthony Collins that the Bengals may be thisclose to starting their season without Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth.


Andrew Whitworth

If Anthony Collis gets the call at left tackle in Sunday's opener in Chicago (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12), former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham thinks Collins's next call should be to another former Bengal.

Lapham has in mind Willie Anderson, the franchise's greatest right tackle. In his 11th season during 2006, Anderson blanked the great Julius Peppers in his prime in a win over the Panthers at Paul Brown Stadium. Now at 33 years of age, Peppers is poised in his 12th season on the other side of the line and is looking to go to his fourth Pro Bowl in his fourth season with the Bears. His 111.5 career sacks are second only to Jared Allen's 117 since Peppers came into the league 11 years ago, but none came that day against Anderson.

"I'd call Willie and ask him, 'What were you thinking that day?' " says Lapham, the Bengals radio analyst who called that game. "I don't think the tape is too old. Take a look at the technique Willie used. Willie's like a walking encyclopedia."

It's a great testament to Collins that the Bengals may be thisclose to starting their season without Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth and Bengaldom has stayed calm and peaceful. Whitworth is far from calm because he's so anxious to play ("I'm about ready to string somebody up"), but he's steady about Collins.

"I'll be fully confident if it comes upon him because he's a guy that can do it and can do it anywhere else," Whitworth said Wednesday, before going out to practice but not participating. "He'd be starting anywhere else in the league if he had the opportunity to."

This is tearing up Whitworth. This is the Bengals de facto offensive captain who leads the Bengals with 67 straight starts. This is the guy who arrived in the NFL with 52 starts at LSU, second-most in NCAA Division I history. This is a guy who mused Wednesday, "if it comes down that I can't play Sunday, this is the first critical game I've ever missed. I've been a guy that's always been out there."

Whitworth thought the knee he had surgically repaired was ready to go at the start of training camp, but it "kind of had a re-injury and we're getting it back and everything is fine. It’s just getting it healthy enough to be ready to go."

He says he'll play again this year, but nobody seems to know when. While he's torn up inside, he's proud of and excited for Collins, a guy with whom he and his wife are extremely close. 

Whitworth has to laugh at the recently-completed Hard Knocks series, where one of the storylines was first-round pick Tyler Eifert living with Whitworth's family that includes two-year-old twins and a younger brother.

Why, Melissa Whitworth was caught wondering during the show, would he ever come stay at a place where there were three children not yet potty trained?

But before kids, there was and still is Collins.

"They made a big deal about Eifert, but it all started with AC," Whitworth said. "He was the guy that when he got drafted that we brought over and fed and hung out with. That's how our relationship started and it's stayed. He and Melissa are really close. We've been through everything he's been through here. He's a guy we couldn't be more proud of. Shoot, I'm excited for him."

It hasn't been an easy road for Collins here since he came out of Kansas in the fourth round in 2008, two years behind Whitworth. Here's a guy that didn't play football until his senior year in high school and is basketball athletic.

"He's had to find his way; we all have in different ways," Whitworth said. "He's matured and he's really a great kid. He's been nothing but tremendous whenever he's had to play for Andre (Smith) or me throughout his career."

Teammates on both sides of the ball believe Collins could be a starter on most NFL teams. He hasn't started at left tackle since he filled in for Levi Jones the last six games of his rookie season, and he's started 12 games since at right tackle, including seven of the first eight games of the 2009 AFC North run. And with Whitworth and Smith out of this year's spring ball, Collins jumped back and forth all May and June.

"I think Collins is athletic enough to do a pretty good job," Lapham says. "The test will be when Peppers decides to try to bull rush and what kind of success he'll have bulling him. I think AC's feet are pretty good. (Peppers) still has great hands, quick hands. He still has some moves to him. He's one of the best ever."

But Collins has some moves, too.

"I think Peppers is going to be surprised at how AC can move out there," Lapham says.

 

Recent Articles

  • Fantasy Recap: Week 13

    By James Morris - Posted 1 hour ago

    With the regular season over for fantasy football, owners will now turn their attention to the playoffs. The waiver wire is a barren wasteland filled with landmines that are sure to hurt you more than help you.

  • Lewis News Conference Transcript 12/5

    Posted 16 hours ago

    Marvin Lewis new conference transcript 12/5/2016

    Views: 279
  • Games and milestones

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 16 hours ago

    In each of the last four games of his 11th season Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth either joins or passes a Bengals luminary on the all-time games list befitting his station as one of the franchise’s most beloved players. Like teammate Domata Peko. Now. like Peko, he wants to keep going after getting an affirmative answer from his body.

    Views: 293
  • The play's the thing

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Dec 5, 2016

    One of the Bengals said it after last week’s loss in Baltimore. “We’re playing football, but we're not making plays." Enter Carlos Dunlap’s four tipped passes, Vontaze Burfict’s two interceptions, wide receiver Cody Core’s 50-yard catch in Sunday's win over the Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium.

    Views: 1,980
  • Quick hits: Long-time coming; Steelers game flexed; New look O-line delivers; Tez conquers Wentz

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Dec 4, 2016

    In Sunday's 32-14 victory over the Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals' offensive line, featuring a new look, didn't allow a sack for the first time in more than a year ... The Dec. 18 game at Paul Brown Stadium has been moved from Sunday night to 1 p.m. ... Vontaze Burfict had two picks to go with another 15 tackles ...

    Views: 5,622

Recent Videos

Photos