The Blind Side… America has heard that amazing story. Unfortunately for the Ravens, it is now looking like Michael Oher is becoming the star of the sequel, “The Offside.”
If you hear offensive linemen’s names called during a game, it’s likely not good news – a penalty, missed assignment, or an injury. Unfortunately, Ravens fans have been hearing Michael Oher’s name A LOT lately. If his high school days were the basis for the book/movie The Blind Side, his sophomore NFL campaign would be more aptly titled The Offside.
Instead of singing his praises after games, we’ve instead heard Michael Oher’s name mentioned during the games; when the referee calls a penalty on #74 or when Jerry Sandusky says he should have picked up a corner blitz as the crowd watches Joe Flacco being scraped from the turf.
After suffering a knee injury against the Bucs, it seems that Oher has been trying to gain any advantage possible. The left tackle is the most important person on the offensive line (see: intro to The Blind Side book) and the consequences are more detrimental if he gets beat than any other lineman. Oher’s seven false start penalties this season lead the Ravens and have become a cause for concern. I’d much rather see a O-lineman hold a player because frankly its a call that could be made on almost every play. At least holding a player takes him out of the equation thus not allowing strip sacks or even season ending injuries. Oher’s issues start before the ball is even snapped though.
I am not even going to sit here and say that I could do any better. Oher is good at his job and has all the potential to be great. It’s been a tough year, though.
The guys over at Pro Football Focus, who grade every player on every play during the season, have Oher as the worst Ravens’ offensive lineman this season, and as their 50th best tackle in 2010. Fiftieth. Ouch.
In addition, something as simple as hard counts and the timing with your other lineman has got to be Football 101 for these guys. Oher is a professional, and he needs to take care of this.
I think it’s safe to say that coaching will not win us a Super Bowl this year. In order for the Ravens to succeed, they’re going to have to keep winning with their talent, and despite their coaches’ odd decisions and game plans. It’s on the players to stop shooting themselves in the feet with silly false penalties – like false starts – though.
The ending of the “Baltimore Ravens 2010 Season” story is going to be written early February. It is either going to be a happy ending (fingers crossed) or one of frustration which may possibly carry over for longer than the usual off season, with a potential lockout looming. The authors of this story (Ravens players) need to bypass the editors (Coaches) and just make plays. Hopefully the authors do some editing too and throw the manuscript to The Offside in the trash.