Ravens Q&A with Michael Oher
Michael Oher (74) blocks Kansas City's Glenn Dorsey on a field-goal attempt. (Baltimore Sun photo by Christopher T. Assaf / September 13, 2009)
Question: There has been a lot of talk about how you could be the organization's first long-term solution at right tackle since Orlando Brown started at that position between 2003 and 2005, and there have been some comparisons to all-but-certain Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden. Is that a lot of pressure on your shoulders?
Answer: I think they've been OK at right tackle. They did a great job last year. I'm definitely going to do all I can to help us out and win. J.O. is a special player, and that's what special players do. He's a Hall of Famer, so of course he's going to play 10 years and hold down his position. To me, it's just football.
Q.: Do you think you made an impression around the league when you steam-rollered Washington Redskins defensive end Renaldo Wynn in your first preseason game?
A.: This is the NFL. That stuff happens every day. You've got to bring it every day and compete every day and come to work every day. That's part of the game.
Q.: What did you learn from playing against Carolina Panthers four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers in the third preseason game?
A.: He's a great player, one of the best in the league. I learned a lot from his game, and I'm going to take some of the stuff I learned from that game and apply it. He taught me to be technique-sound. Be on top of your craft at all times.
Q.: How do you deal with high expectations associated with the Ravens' investing a first-round pick in you?
A.: You can't live like that. That will hold you back. I try not to get into stuff like that.
Q.: You have distanced yourself from the book "The Blind Side: The Evolution of a Game" and the ensuing film. Why?
A.: Some people who read that took things negatively. I just want people to see me as a football player. It is what it is at the end of the day. I'm a first-round draft pick and doing something that I love. People are entitled to their own opinion.
Q.: What NFL player or team did you follow when you were growing up?
A.: I loved the Dallas Cowboys. And when I got into football and started playing left tackle, I started watching guys like J.O. [Jonathan Ogden], Walter Jones and Orlando Pace. They perfected their craft to a "T," and they were great players. In fact, they still are great players.
Q.: You averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds a game for Briarcrest Christian in Memphis and also finished second in the state in the discus. If you could go back in time, would you have pursued the NBA or the Olympics?
A.: When I was in high school, whichever sport I was in, that was the one I loved the most. I was OK in basketball. But I had a bigger love for football, and that's why I am here.
Q.: Who was the best pass rusher you faced when you played at Mississippi?
A.: Greg Hardy, my former teammate [at Mississippi]. He'll be the best defensive player this year coming out in next year's draft. He has every tool you need. He's an unbelievable player.
Q.: Do you have a childhood fear?
A.: Heights. I love roller coasters and that type of stuff. But I'm just talking about walking over bridges. I can't look down. Same with buildings.
Q.: What is your favorite meal?
A.: My go-to meal is probably shrimp and pasta. Red Lobster has pretty good shrimp and pasta.