ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 01: Michael Oher #74 of the Baltimore Ravens watches from the bench against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on September 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Over the past few days I have written some posts about the Ravens most under and overrated players. As I expected there was some controversy surrounding, not only the players I put on my lists, but the players I left off as well. Also, In the view of many a reader, I had listed one player completely backwards in right tackle, Michael Oher. Oher was listed as an underrated player in my post when most of you seem to think exactly the opposite. The consensus was that "Big Mike" is more overrated by some of the fans here in Baltimore.
My thoughts on the matter stem mostly from the negative press that has surrounded him since his failed attempt at manning the blind side in the beginning of his career. This plus the fact that Michael also struggled with false starts and other random penalties that have set his offense back in key situations. Due to these factors and his somewhat shaky pass coverages as recently as the beginning of 2011 many have viewed Oher as somewhat of a liability more than a key contributor on offense.
In my opinion, on the other hand, this has made Michael underrated at his current position. The very things that made Oher suspect early on in his career have caused most to think of him as, at very best, a serviceable right tackle. When in fact he had many games in 2011 in which he outplayed everyone else on the line. He is an excellent run blocker and his play in passing situations has steadily increased. Oher has also become more of a vocal leader now that he is a veteran and has inside knowledge on how the teams blocking schemes are run.
So, to me, Michael Oher is mostly underrated in the City of Baltimore. So many people expected so much from him after his first round draft selection and the movie about his life coming out the very same year. I have a feeling that 2012 will be his best season as a pro and we will not be including him in either one of these conversations at this time in 2013. He may be overrated to some because he is so well known for his life off of the field but his steadily improving play on the field and the comments I have read on this topic so far leads me to think that he is truly underrated here in the city of Baltimore and on a national level as well. I look for him to make his first Pro Bowl this season and raise his stature to rank as one of the best players at the RT position in the NFL. If he is able to stay as the starter on the right side again.
Also It seems a player I left off of the underrated list may be the most underrated player on the team in many fans eyes. That player is right guard Marshal Yanda. Yanda has spent the majority of his short career in underrated obscurity and last season you would have gotten no argument out of me that he is the Ravens least known, best player. However with Yanda's recent contract with the Ravens, showing how much the team has invested in the young lineman, and his first Pro Bowl selection I think the rest of the league is starting to catch on.