Panthers OT Michael Oher Learned a Lot with Titans

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SAN FRANCISCO —Michael Oher signed a long-term deal with the Titans prior to the 2014 season, but he only ended up playing 11 games with the team.

The offensive tackle was hardly blindsided when the Titans opted to go in a different direction after one year.

"I was in and out of there fast,'' Oher said on Wednesday. "For one reason or another, it just didn't work out. I felt like I did everything they asked me to do, but it just didn't work. But I learned a lot from that experience in Tennessee. It made me look in the mirror and taught me things I need to do better."

Oher, in his seventh NFL season, is set to play in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday for the Carolina Panthers. After a disappointing, injury-filled season with the Titans, he's been solid while protecting quarterback Cam Newton from the left tackle position.

So why didn't things work out for Oher with the Titans?

Oher, the subject of the movie "Blind Side," said he suffered a biceps injury in the team's third preseason game, but he wanted to play through it, and wasn't as effective as a result. A hyperextended knee slowed him down further early in the year, and then he was sidelined with a toe injury that required season-ending surgery.

Oher, who allowed six sacks in 11 games with the Titans, said he's not making excuses. He accepts his share of the blame, he said.

"I could have done things better in the offseason,'' Oher said. "(After) surgery, it helped me see what I needed to do as far as training, nutrition and things like that.

"That season in Tennessee, it taught me a lot of things. It helped me propel to this point, taking negatives and turning it into a positive."

Oher understands why some people probably wrote him off following a down season in Tennessee. Prior to signing with the Titans, Oher played five seasons with the Ravens.

But that's OK, he said. Oher played 98.4 percent of the snaps in 2015, and allowed just four sacks, per STATS.

"I'm sure some people thought (I was done), but I am never worried about what anyone else is thinking. I know my work ethic and I was determined to keep getting better,'' Oher said. "It's unfortunate things didn't work out in Tennessee, but I am not an I-told-you-so guy.

"It just shows that you can do anything you want to and that you put your mind to. You can't put your dreams and the things that you want to accomplish in other people's hands. So this offseason I said, 'you've got to look yourself in the mirror. You've got to know what to do. You've got to just get it done yourself.

"Things have worked out like they are supposed to, and now I am in the Super Bowl."

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