Given that some veterans can’t or won’t change sides, Oher impressed the Ravens staff with how he accepted the challenge.
“This is a very unique guy,” offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. “He’s special.”
Offensive line coach John Matsko said it was “interesting” watching Oher deal with Allen.
“The first time, Jared made the inside move. Michael didn’t block it, and [Allen] hit the quarterback,” Matsko said. “The next time he bulled Michael. And the next time he had the speed rush. After each one, he came to the sidelines and we said, ‘Well, Mike, you’ve seen his best stuff now. You’ve got to get up with the speed of it.’
“I think Michael competed against him. I thought he grew from each play, and I think he learned about himself and how good Jared Allen is. I think he really grew and benefited from the experience.”
In a moment of candor, Oher afterward cited Allen’s big salary and said there was “nothing special” about him. Uh-oh. When the fiery, outspoken Allen heard about that, he ripped Oher. One of the words Allen used was “idiot.”
There still is much for Oher to learn, but no one is worried about him. Besides, he has been through a lot worse.
“He’s a real man of integrity, an unbelievable kid, a very, very humble man,” Matsko said. “He has a real passion for helping people and a real passion for being the best he can. … He’s very bright, very bright. He practices hard, he studies hard, he’s very focused in the meetings. And he really, really tries to do it the way you teach him.”