Michael Oher signed a four-year $20 million dollar contract with the Titans during the off season. It seemed like the perfect move for both sides.
Oher, who is from Memphis would return to his home state after spending the first five years of his NFL career in Baltimore. For the Titans, they would get a massive, former first round tackle to replace the retired David Stewart.
It was the perfect marriage, until the Titans used the eleventh overall selection in the first round on tackle Taylor Lewan.
Speculation began immediately that Lewan was brought in to compete with veteran Michale Roos at right tackle, but more likely he would compete with Oher for the starting right tackle position.
So far through the first days of camp, Oher has seemed to be rock solid. There have been no signs of Oher not being the man on the right side of the Titans line. Oher has been entrenched and to the eye of the untrained media watching him perform, it appears that he has been more than adequate.
In fact Oher has been so good that Lewan has been running with the second team line at left tackle, and spent time at left guard while Andy Levitre was recovering from appendectomy surgery.
Roos who is in the final year of his contract is not expected to be offered a new deal by the Titans following this season, and Lewan would appear to be the replacement. Most people believe that is why he was drafted, to replace Roos, not Oher.
However, it is easy to see how Oher might be upset at the speculation that he is under-performing. Oher was maligned for his play the last few years with the Ravens, and I believe that he arrived in Nashville with a chip on his shoulder about the speculation and comments that he did not live up to the lofty draft status he had entering the league.
Oher has seemed to be a bit distant with the media, and even sometime a bit angry, or unwilling to share much other than basic comments.
The changed yesterday when Oher addressed the speculation.
"I don't know anything about any speculation because I know what type of player I am," Oher said. "I'm kind of tired of getting disrespected by a lot of people who don't know anything about the work I put in and how hard I work, and the love and passion I have for this game.
"So I'm not worried about anything. I go out there every day and give it my all. That's the kind of guy I am."
Oher is perhaps better known as the subject of the movie about his life, "The Blind Side" than as an NFL football player. People who are not fans of the sport have likely seen the movie.
During a short conversation I had with Oher when he first arrived for OTA's, I asked him about the movie and his life.
Oher shared with me that he had only seen the movie once, and that while it was true in its premiss, it was embellished for the sake of Hollywood. The facts of his childhood and homelessness are true, along with his being taken in by the Tuohy family, but after that the dramatic licenses of the film makers began.
That conversation was my introduction to Michael Oher, and while we didn't become life long friends it was easy to see that the giant of a man is in fact a humble soul who was extremely happy to return to his home state.
From his other comments it was also easy to tell that he was not totally comfortable with the attention outside of football and would have rather been talking about his game on the field rather than the movie off it.
Of all the things Oher commented on yesterday, this one stood out the most to me to prove that my impression of his is correct.
"Every day I come to get better," Oher said. "That's the only thing I can do – to keep within myself and get better."
Oher's comments yesterday did indeed sound a bit angry, but with the new attitude on this team and the proverbial "chip" on their shoulder that we have heard about, perhaps Oher showing this "other side" is exactly what the Titans need.