The Story Of Guy Whimper

By Matthew Marczi

With a few days now gone by since the final 53-man roster was first tallied and the Pittsburgh Steelers seemingly done making roster moves, it certainly appears that journeyman offensive lineman Guy Whimper is here to stay, at least for now.

So what exactly does that mean for the 2013 season?

As it currently stands, it should mean virtually nothing, barring injury. Whimper is clearly the eighth offensive lineman in the hierarchy, and it is extremely rare that head coach Mike Tomlin elects to dress more than seven on game days.

While his career briefly overlapped with Jack Bicknell, Jr.—Whimper was in his fourth and final year with the New York Giants in 2009 during Bicknell’s first of three seasons there as an assistant offensive line coach—that is unlikely to earn him any brownie points, let alone playing time.

Indeed, Whimper, who was drafted by the Giants with what was originally one of the Steelers’ draft picks in 2006 (they moved up in the first round to draft Santonio Holmes and gave up their own first, third, and fourth round picks in the process), seems poised to spend the year inactive barring injuries.

The veteran’s struggles as a starting tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars, particularly over the past two seasons, are well-documented, as he ranked well near the bottom of the list for pass blocking efficiency by starting offensive tackles in both years.

Fortunately, however, he is not being asked to be a starter in Pittsburgh, and is in fact likely not even being asked to dress. The game day reserves appear set to be second-year multi-purpose lineman Kelvin Beachum and the recently acquired Cody Wallace, whose three-year college starting experience at center was more attractive to the front office than what John Malecki, they believed, would be able to provide, with his shorter than ideal arms and NFL-only exposure to the center position.

Whimper has spent 67 games in his career on the active list, and in 22 of those games, he was the starter. He has given up 19 sacks, by Pro Football Focus’ reckoning, in those 22 games. But what of the other 45 games?

In Whimper’s first two seasons with the Giants, he was active for 24 games; however, as a Giants fan, I can guarantee that he saw very little, if any, playing time on offense during that stretch. He then spent the 2008 season on injured reserve. He was an active reserve for six games in 2009 and saw playing time in five of them. He played just 32 snaps in total, however, with some of them coming at tight end. His most extensive playing time that year was when he was asked to fill in at right tackle for 15 snaps. In total, he pass blocked on eight snaps on the year and gave up one hurry.

His playing time stepped up after he signed with the Jaguars. He started the team’s Week 12 game against his former team at left tackle—his first extensive action as a professional—and he had a terrible time of it. He gave up just one sack, but he also surrendered five hits and three additional hurries on 47 pass blocking attempts. A few weeks later, he filled in at right tackle for 18 snaps, surrendering a sack and a hurry in 13 pass blocking attempts.

That somehow translated into a starting gig at right tackle (with one at left) in 2011, during which he played in and started 15 games. All told, he had a hand in 14 sacks by the end of the year, which is the most allowed in a single season by a lineman in the Pro Football Focus era (2008 onward), though there were several who came close in quantity. In terms of pass blocking efficiency, there actually were a few who did a poorer job, such as Sam Baker, James Carpenter, and Chad Clifton. His PBE of 91.6 ranked 71st out of 76 offensive tackles who played 25% of the team’s snaps in 2011.

2012, statistically, actually turned out even worse, and Whimper finished ranked 70th out of 72 with a PBE of 89.5, ahead of only D’Anthony Batiste—whom the Steelers briefly flirted with this training camp—and Michael Harris—who just beat out Max Starks for a job with the San Diego Chargers. Starks, by the way, ranked 56th out of 72 on the list, and Mike Adams ranked 62nd.

For what it’s worth, Whimper finished with a PBE of 93.3 between both guard and tackle this preseason, surrendering two sacks and five hurries in 85 pass blocking snaps. It would come out a touch better, at 93.8, if Pro Football Focus counted half-sacks. In comparison, Starks yielded four sacks, one hit, and one hurry in 48 pass blocking snaps for a PBE of 88.5.

All told, as a backup, Whimper has played in 169 snaps since 2009. 71 of those snaps came in pass protection. In those 71 snaps, he has given up two sacks, three hits, and five hurries. Most of that occurred in Week 1 last season when he was forced to step in at right tackle after injury for 59 snaps. In 35 snaps of pass protection, he surrendered a sack, a hit, and four hurries.

Thus, of the 45 games in which Whimper was active but not a starter, he only actually saw playing time in about 15 of them, with at least two of those games being exclusively at tight end. And of those 15, he only saw 10 or more snaps in six of them, with four coming last year.

What will the next chapter be for Guy Whimper? He should hopefully have plenty of time to write it while sitting on the bench in street clothes this season.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
  • Mike.H

    Matthew or others: What’s the rationale behind a 53 man roster but you have to leave 8 inactive on game day? Why?

  • SteelersDepot

    Competive balance, or say they say.

  • Mike.H

    May be to make things interesting like a TV drama.

    If you’re out of O linemen due to injuries, sub in a TE or DL for stop gap… drama’s good for ratings I suppose.

  • Shea Fahr

    Preface: This is the story of Guy Whimper…Chapter 1: He lacks what it takes to be successful as an Olineman…The End.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    If Whimper is not needed to dress this week, he should be cut before the first game so his contract is not guaranteed for the entire season. They could replace him on the 53 with Long just in case there is an injury in warmups.

  • Shea Fahr

    AGREED!! Please do not pay this man for the rest of the year.

  • bgsteelfan

    That is one of the lengthiest ways to say “He sucks” ever.

  • bgsteelfan

    I never really got how they think that adds competitive balance. I can kind of see one or two minor rationales, but I don’t think the talent difference at the bottom of the roster is going to make any real difference to competitive balance.

  • steeler4life

    This dude is basically a turd with eyes…… you can have him on your roster to protect your greatest asset is beyond my realm of understanding……..not too mention Mike Adams pass blocking is atrocious…….I don’t know which will be more horrifying to watch …..our line against the Ravens and Bengals or if we make playoffs and have to go to Denver without Ryan Clark……..we will have William Gay , brown & golden against Broncos…..hahaha……good job Colbert!

  • cencalsteeler

    “however, as a Giants fan, I can guarantee he saw little playing time”
    Matt, am I reading this wrong?

  • Bradys_Dad

    IF he’s probably not going to dress on game days and IF the prevailing thought about his talent is that he lacks the skills to a pro OL and IF he’s simply a body collecting a paycheck …… where do I get this kinda gig ? I meet 100% of this criteria …… and then some.
    Why not put a young turk from the PS in this same role and make room for another PS player? Could we do worse ? God forbid.

  • Matthew Marczi

    No, I’m a fan of both teams. The Steelers always have and always will come first, however, and it’s not exactly close. There are a lot of parallels between the two organizations.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Compare him to the bottom of the depth chart on the offensive line from teams around the league to see how he compares. It’s not his fault the Jaguars mistakenly thought he could start. If you make backup-quality players start for a long period of time, that’s what happens. But every team needs backups, and it’s not fair to say that they suck just because they failed as a starter.

  • cencalsteeler

    True. The G-Men are a very respectable franchise. Went to last years game, and walked out of the stadium with nothing but respect for those fans. Lots of pats on the backs, and “We’ll get ya next time!” comments.

  • bgsteelfan

    I’m not saying you don’t have a point, or that it wasnt a good article. Just my facetious way of saying I don’t think he is an NFL caliber player.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Fair enough. I mean I can’t say I don’t blame people for their reactions. He’s put together a lot of bad tape over the past two years. It’s just that I wonder if people realize that people like Guy Whimper are pretty much par for the course at the bottom of depth charts around the league. The only difference really is that he actually got to prove that he can’t be an average starter in the league, while most backups are never given that opportunity to fail.

  • Mike Sweeney

    hahahahahaha careless whimper. reminds me of the story, the world according to Tharpe!!!!!!!!

  • bgsteelfan

    I like him fine as a backup, as long as he isn’t asked to actually play more than a few snaps. The thought that we could get stuck with him protecting Ben’s blindside makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little.