Six years after the movie “The Blind Side” made Michael Oher a household name, he remains disenchanted by the film’s impact on his NFL career.
Oher, the ex-Ravens offensive tackle, got into a scuffle with Panthers teammate Kony Ealy during Wednesday’s minicamp practice. Afterward, Oher said he has been scrutinized during his entire NFL career due to the 2009 movie that depicted his life story. Actress Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for playing the role of Leigh Ann Touhy, a Memphis mother who adopted Oher, together with her husband, when Oher was in high school. The movie grossed more than $300 million, but Oher said it has been a burden during his career.
“People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie,” Oher told reporters Wednesday, via ESPN.com. “They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am. That’s why I get downgraded so much because of something off the field. This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not…that has nothing to do with football. It’s something else off the field. That’s why I don’t like the movie.
“That’s taken away from my football. That’s why people criticize me. That’s why people look at me every single play.
“Offensive linemen don’t get looked at. Nobody is paying attention to the offensive line. But me? I’m getting watched for everything. I know what type of player I am. Everybody else that I know knows what kind of player I am. So that kind of stuff doesn’t worry me.”
Oher spent five seasons with the Ravens (2009-13) after being their first-round pick in 2009, No. 23 overall. However, while Oher was a starting right tackle on the Ravens’ last Super Bowl team, he never became the Pro Bowl tackle the Ravens hoped he would. He was not re-signed following the 2013 season, and he was a disappointment with the Titans in 2014, lasting just one season after signing a four-year, $20 million deal.
The Panthers signed Oher to a two-year, $7 million deal in March, hoping he will become their starting left tackle. Oher is at a career crossroads, but his opinion about “The Blind Side” is clear. It’s not No. 1 on his playlist.