'Terrible' Turf Had Panthers OT Michael Oher Sliding Around During Super Bowl

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2016

via Jonathan Jones

The turf at Levi's Stadium has always been an issue, including during Sunday's Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

Some players had to change cleats during the game. Others just did their best to deal with the rough conditions, which Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib called "terrible," per the Associated Press (via CSN Bay Area).

How bad was the turf? Just look at the play above of Carolina offensive tackle Michael Oher trying to block Denver linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

Ware has 134.5 career sacks in the NFL, so there's no shame in an offensive lineman getting beat by the nine-time Pro Bowler. However, as Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer points out in the post above, Oher had very little chance of holding his ground on this play late in the first quarter because of the turf.

The 6'4", 258-pound Ware was able to just force the 6'4", 315-pound Oher backward. As the video shows, it was almost as if the offensive lineman was on skates...on a football field.

To his credit, Oher was able to at least stay on his feet and keep Ware from getting to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.

Before anyone accuses the Panthers beat writer of making excuses for the team, it's important to realize he's just pointing out something unusual.

Obviously the turf isn't why Carolina lost. Both teams had to play on the same field, so it just came down to who made more plays. At the same time, it is hard to believe that the turf was in that type of condition for the league's biggest game.

[Jonathan Jones]