Most every NFL team begins the season with the same goal: Win the Super Bowl. It's more realistic for some teams than others, of course, but aiming for anything else in a league with as much parity and year-to-year change as the NFL probably means you're aiming too low.
So, perhaps it's not necessarily breaking news when a player says his team's only goal for the upcoming season is to win the Super Bowl. When that player's team is one of the actual contenders, though, and when the player himself is a 39-year-old former All-Pro left tackle returning for what seems like his third "last NFL season," it's a bit more notable.
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"We've figured out how to win playoff games, we've made some runs in the postseason," Whitworth said, per NFL.com. "And this time for us and this opportunity we feel like this team, nothing short of going to that Super Bowl and winning it is good enough. And that's really the expectation level for us, even though we know that's a slippery slope. But that's where we want to be. And if that's what you want, then you got to be able to speak about it and let people know that that's the only thing you see is the goal, and the only thing you see as accomplishing this season is just going and winning a Super Bowl."
The Rams have built themselves a roster to win right now. They've traded first-round picks to load up on stars on both sides of the ball. Most recently, they sent two first-rounders to the Detroit Lions to upgrade from Jared Goff to Matthew Stafford under center. Whitworth feels like that raises the ceiling of the team.
"We're excited about having Matthew," Whitworth said. "He's a heck of a football player, and somebody that over the years everybody that's been in the league has watched and had a ton of respect for and really how he plays the game, the toughness he plays it with, and with that extreme talent level he has in being a top pick. Being around him, you can just tell he's your veteran quarterback. He's calm and collected and kind of knows exactly what he wants to do with the football and wants a lot of ownership in the offense and where he's going with the ball. I think we're really excited about this year and really excited that, you know what, we won't shy away from the expectations we have for ourselves, adding a guy like Matthew Stafford, and we look forward to the challenge."