New Panthers left tackle Michael Oher got into a fight at minicamp yesterday. It was a good one: he and DE Kony Ealy both threw punches, and wrestled each other to the ground before they were pulled away by teammates. Ron Rivera blamed the near-100-degree heat. Oher blamed that Sandra Bullock movie.
Oher was asked if he fought because he had something to prove. Per ESPN:
“I’m not trying to prove anything,’’ Oher said. “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.’’
“That’s taken away from my football,’’ Oher said. “That’s why people criticize me. That’s why people look at me every single play.’’
It’s not untrue that Oher gets extra attention from and is still associated with The Blind Side. When you hear Oher’s name, you do think “oh, the guy from the movie,” and not, “oh, the guy who has been graded as one of the NFL’s worst tackles the past two seasons, and was waived by the Titans after just one year of a five-year deal.”
Despite that, and despite coming off of surgery on an arthritic toe, the Panthers signed the 29-year-old to a two-year contract and are moving him back to left tackle. Where he’ll be responsible for Cam Newton’s...you know.