The star of the "Blind Side" will stay on the blind side for the foreseeable future.
The Ravens are moving forward with Michael Oher as their left tackle, three sources told NFL.com and NFL Network.
Oher started as the man protecting quarterback Joe Flacco's backside in the season-opening win against the Cincinnati Bengals, while last year's starter Bryant McKinnie rode the bench. Taking into consideration an explosive no-huddle scheme that put up 44 points, the Ravens decided that Oher gives the team the best chance to win. Oher is also judged to be more reliable than McKinnie.
Baltimore always has been known for its defense. As Michael Lombardi points out, that's about to change. **More ...**
One team source explained that an injury could change things. Oher started at right tackle in his first and third seasons, while starting at left tackle as a second-year pro. McKinnie is only a left tackle. Thus, an injury to surprise right tackle starter Kelechi Osemele could bring Oher to his side and McKinnie to the left side.
This development helps explain the team's motives last week to ask McKinnie to take a pay cut, which he originally fought and eventually accepted. McKinnie's salary went from $3.2 million to $2.2 million, with playing time incentives giving him the chance to make it all back. Barring injury, that looks unlikely now.
Oher became a national darling during his time at Ole Miss, the subject of the popular book and movie, "The Blind Side." Yet he originally played right tackle in the NFL. Now, he's back to the spot that made him famous. In recent days, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been cagey about his offensive line going forward.
"We're just going to have to see how that goes," Harbaugh said recently. "We've got nine good players on our offensive line right now. That is a real plus for us. They all bring different skill sets to the table, so where there are pluses -- as you're talking about -- for one group of guys or certain guys, there are other pluses for other guys that are positive. So, the fact that we've got a deep well right now is a plus. I anticipate all those guys playing extensively."