Carolina Panthers

Titans coach: Carolina Panthers OT Michael Oher ‘a hard worker’

Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher, signed to a two-year deal this month, was praised by Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt as “a hard worker” on Tuesday at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. Oher played for the Titans in 2014.
Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher, signed to a two-year deal this month, was praised by Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt as “a hard worker” on Tuesday at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. Oher played for the Titans in 2014. Getty Images

Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt praised Michael Oher’s work ethic, but didn’t mention Oher’s ability when asked about the Carolina Panthers’ recently acquired left tackle Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.

Oher signed a two-year deal with Carolina this month after the Titans cut him in February. Oher failed his exit physical with a toe injury that sidelined him the final five games.

Oher, 28, who started 80 consecutive games during five seasons in Baltimore, was the league’s 10th-lowest rated tackle in 2014, according to Pro Football Focus. He allowed six sacks and 26 quarterback hurries while playing right tackle.

Whisenhunt believes Oher’s toe was a factor in his poor play before he went on injured reserve.

“Mike came in and worked hard. I think the toe thing bothered him a little bit, affected him in his (pass) set. From what I understand now, it’s been fixed and a lot better,” Whisenhunt said at the AFC coaches breakfast. “He’s a hard worker. He’s an intense player and we certainly wish him well there.”

Oher underwent surgery after the season to repair his toe. The Panthers hope pairing him with John Matsko, Oher’s position coach in Baltimore, will help Oher bounce back in 2015.

Asked if he believes Oher can play left tackle, Whisenhunt said: “That’s going to be up to Carolina and where they put him. I don’t know. He’s not on our team anymore.”

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