Michael Oher Talks About False Starts


Michael Oher has a history with false start penalties.

He had ironed out the problem, as he had yet to commit a false start this year.

Then the issue reared its ugly head on Thanksgiving night against the Steelers.

Oher was flagged three times for false starts, contributing to three drives coming to an end.

"Got to cut out the false starts," Oher said. "I don't want to get penalties, especially false starts. I've just got to continue to be patient, I guess."

Oher was flagged with six false starts in 2009, then tied the league lead with eight in 2010. He cut down on them the past two years, going to four in 2011 and three in 2012.

He had only committed one penalty so far this year for grabbing an opponent's facemask. No false starts.

Oher seemed to have trouble hearing quarterback Joe Flacco, even though he was playing at home where it should be quieter when the offense is on the field.

"I've just got to listen in. Put out all the crowd noise and stuff and listen in to Joe's cadence," Oher said.

"The fans were all pumped up, but you've still got to listen."

Oher's first false start came at the end of the first half. The Ravens were trying to mount a quick drive with just under two minutes left. They faced a second-and-3 from their own 33 when Oher false started. Not only did it back the Ravens up five yards, but it also came with an automatic 10-second run off. The Ravens ran one more play and just let the clock run out.

His next came in the third quarter when the Ravens were facing a second-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 11. The penalty slowed the momentum of a strong drive. The Ravens stalled and settled for a 34-yard field goal after back-to-back incompletions.

Oher's last false start was in the fourth quarter when the Ravens were again threatening to score a touchdown. Oher jumped when the Ravens were facing a second-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 24. Backed up into a second-and-long situation, the offense faltered. Justin Tucker booted a 45-yarder.

Oher received a -3.2 score from Pro Football Focus, the lowest mark* *of any player on the Ravens offense Thursday night. Much of the score was due to the penalties, which got a -2.5.

When Oher was onsides, he also had issues handling talented Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds. Worilds replaced Pro Bowl outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Worilds registered a team-high 10 tackles and two sacks. He hit Flacco three times.

Just because Worilds was a backup, however, doesn't mean he isn't good. He now has five sacks in his last five games.

"He's a good player," Oher said. "The Steelers have always been a great defense and they're still a Steeler defense now."

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