SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Offensive linemen are a unique breed. There is a certain unwritten code they all tend to live by. One of the major tenants of that code is keeping a low profile. Typically, offensive linemen don't want to be seen as individuals. They want to be identified as a unit.
That's what made things difficult for offensive tackle Michael Oher after the movie "The Blindside" became a national hit in theaters.
Oher became a star. He was in the spotlight. That movie has been attached to him ever since, and a lot of good came from people learning his rags-to-riches story.
"It's helped and inspired so many people across the world," Oher said. "Coming from poverty and the inner city where I came from, so many people look up to me because they say if I can do it they can do it. I'm definitely happy about that and proud of that part of it."
But Oher also explained why he doesn't care for some of the extra attention, and he did so in a way that would resonate with any offensive lineman.
"As offensive linemen, we just want to be under the radar. Humble guys that just like to do our work and don't want to be noticed. When we are being noticed, it's not a good thing," Oher explained. "I like to take the humble approach and let everybody else take the credit. If everybody else is getting credit it means we are doing our job. I don't want any credit. I want the team to succeed and my guys around me. That's what makes me excited."
Oher has fit in well but understands that - movie or no movie - there are high expectations for him heading into his first season with the Panthers. He's the team's new left tackle and after a rough, injury-plagued year with the Tennessee Titans, there is a lot to prove.
"In the NFL every year you have to prove yourself. For me personally, yeah, I probably do have to get some things done and prove myself even more this year. I'm working hard to play great," Oher said.