|Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth was critical of the Pro Bowl-selection process. Now he's playing in the game. (US Presswire)|
Last month, Whitworth lambasted the selection process, describing it as a "popularity contest" after he was left off the initial roster. Whitworth (6-foot-7, 330 pounds) received a spot on the roster after Broncos' LT Ryan Clady pulled out with an injury.
“It's a joke to me,” Whitworth told the Dayton Daily News in late-December. “Every year, there are guys that don't even play half a season, get put on IR and they still make the Pro Bowl. I don't worry about that stuff.”
Although the Bengals ended the regular season ranked 25th in sacks allowed per pass attempt, the majority of the pressure came from the side opposite Whitworth. The former LSU lineman allowed four sacks in 2012, according to Pro Football Weekly. In each of the previous three seasons, the Bengals ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in sacks allowed per pass attempt.
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Whitworth had the luxury of learning his craft under former Bengals first-round picks Levi Jones and Willie Anderson. Now, after starting every Cincinnati game the last four regular seasons, Whitworth has helped further the development of some of the Bengals' younger offensive linemen.
“Whit is like an assistant coach to me,” Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander told Pro Football Focus.
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