Michael Oher: Potential Interview Questions
Rookie offensive tackle (pictured, No. 74) comes into camp expected to be a mainstay on the Ravens' offensive line. For years, the Ravens had Jonathan Ogden lining up at left tackle, and he was dominant for so many years. In my potential day with Michael Oher, I will ask him eighteen questions.
- Do you feel more comfortable at left tackle or right tackle? Michael Oher played on the left side of the offensive line at Ole Miss last year, but if he plays much as a rookie, he'll have to be at right tackle. I'd love to know at which position he feels more comfortable and if there may be a position change on the offensive line.
- How do you think your story played into how teams scouted you? Oher had a rough upbringing. When he was very young, his father was murdered, and that was when his mother was already a drug addict. Oher was adopted, and I'm sure some teams were worried he may not be mature enough to live on his own.
- Which is the teammate with whom have you bonded closely so far? It's always nice to know who bonds with whom. After all, these football players we see are no more than normal people with extraordinary talents.
- Some, including yourself, are expecting you to be the next elite Ravens' offensive lineman. What lineman did you grow up idolizing? Since he's now a Raven, by default, I expect him to say Jonathan Ogden.
- What motivated you to be successful? With what Oher has been through, I am amazed he got back on his feet and was able to become a successful young man, much less a multi-millionaire. I would love to know what made him want to be successful, especially considering the low standards his family set for him.
- Some analysts pictured you as a top ten pick. Why do you think some teams passed on you? Most pictured Oher as a prospect even better than Andre Smith, who has weight problems. I'd like to know from Oher why he thinks he dropped out of the top ten to the 23rd pick, where the Ravens traded up.
- Do you feel Baltimore is a good fit for you? Fans across America want to be assured that the players on their teams are happy to be where they are. I want to assure Ravens fans that Michael Oher is happy to be a Baltimore Raven—at least, I hope he is.
- When you first visited the Ravens, what kind of sense did you get for what the organization is doing here? According to executives Ozzie Newsome and Eric DeCosta, Michael Oher was the 13th of 26 players to visit with the Ravens. It's always nice to know what a player thinks of an organization as his first perception.
- What are your pregame rituals? Some athletes do the weirdest things before games. Some baseball players roll balls down the foul line; some pray.
- Do you think you have the tools to start and play well right away? I want to know if Oher is a confident man. I want to know what reason he has to believe he has the tools to start and be a successful offensive tackle in the NFL. I'm sold on his skills, but, again, I want to see who Michael Oher is as a person.
- Do you think the Ravens' offense can have even more success than they did last year? Oher has been at the practices. I'd like to know from him what he sees from Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, and the offense, and if he thinks this offense can succeed.
- When you got drafted, who was the first person to whom you talked? I'll never have the feeling, but I'm sure being drafted is like nothing else for a player. It's the biggest job offer you can ever hope to field, and I'm sure it was an incredible moment for Oher.
- What do you think of the coaching staff? We see the coaching staff on TV, in interviews, in wired practices, etc. But we never know what a coach is like.
- What is the NFL life like for you so far? I know it's been just three minicamp practices with no contact thus far, but I'd like to know how MIchael is doing, how he's faring as a highly rated player in the NFL, and I'd like to know what's going on with him.
- Who was your father figure growing up? What fascinates me about Oher is that he was one of 13 kids born to a dad who was murdered and a mother fighting drug addictions, yet he turned out to be a huge success. I'd love to know who pushed him to work hard on and off the field, because most athletes today had someone pushing them to work hard.
- Offensive tackles like Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith, and Jason Smith were drafted ahead of you. How do you feel you can be better than them? When being interviewed by Deion Sanders during the draft, Oher said the Ravens just got the "best offensive tackle in the draft." It's a very bold statement, especially considering Jason Smith (No. 2 overall, Rams), Andre Smith (No. 6 overall, Bengals), and Eugene Monroe (No. 8, Jaguars) were taken ahead of him.
- You didn't start playing football until early in high school. Because of that, do you think the best is yet to come? Because of a rough upbringing, Oher didn't start playing football until high school, where he developed slowly, but surely. In college, he made big jumps. That leads me to believe we'll see vast improvements when he's a rookie and throughout his career.
- Do you feel that the Ravens are a Super Bowl caliber team? I believe they are, but I'd love to hear from somebody who actually plays on the team, not from someone who knows a lot about them. Oher has seen a glimpse of the team, despite not being involved in contact yet.
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