“The Blind Side,” the award-winning movie detailing NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher’s rise from a homeless teenager to an NFL first-round draft pick, was critically acclaimed and a huge box office success, making over $US300 million worldwide.
Despite that attention, Oher believes the movie is actually responsible for the excessive criticism he has gotten throughout his career.
“Offensive linemen don’t get looked at,” Oher told ESPN’s David Newton. “Nobody is paying attention to the offensive line. But me? I’m getting watched for everything.”
Since being drafted 23rd overall back in 2009, Oher has had moderate success in the NFL. After helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, Oher left in free agency and signed a five-year $US20 million contract with the Titans. However, after one injury-plagued and unproductive season, he was subsequently released and signed a modest two-year, $US7 million deal with the Panthers — his third team in just three years.
According to advanced stats from Pro Football Focus, Oher hasn’t produced a season with consistent positive grades since his rookie year. While he recognises he hasn’t lived up to his first-round hype coming out of Ole Miss, he believes that he is unfairly being labelled a “bust” due to all the extra media attention he receives as a result of “The Blind Side:”
“People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie. 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 that movie.”
Although Oher has been heavily criticised by Pro Football Focus and other experts, his new teammates have welcomed him with open arms. Panthers tight end Greg Olson called the signing a “huge addition” for Carolina.
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