Who’s to blame for Michael Oher on ice?

As we continue to be amazed by the Madden-glitch Vine that has Panthers tackle Michael Oher skating backward in Super Bowl 50, it’s still not clear who bears the blame for the failure of Oher’s shoes to grab the grass.

The potential universe of culprits is small. Either the NFL, which is responsible for the field at all Super Bowls, did a poor job preparing the turf or the Panthers equipment staff did a poor job outfitting Oher with cleats.

Oher isn’t the only guy who had issues with the field. Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib called the footing on the field “terrible.”

Predictably, NFL field guru George Toma has defended the field, even though players from both teams had problems with it. Panthers coach Ron Rivera has called the field “outstanding,” but we’ll assume that this is likely an extension of Rivera’s decision to take the high road and to make no excuses for the fact that his team lost the game.

And so for now it’s unclear whether the blame falls to the NFL or to the equipment managers of both teams, given that players from both teams had problems with the turf. Regardless, it’s hard to remember an offensive lineman sliding 10 feet backward in any prior Super Bowl. Or in any game at any time.

49 responses to “Who’s to blame for Michael Oher on ice?

  1. If you look at Oher’s stance during that play, If his cleats had grabbed the turf, he would have fallen over backwards. His body was directly over his feet, if not slightly behind his feet.
    The problem was that he allowed Ware to push him backwards due to his blocking stance….too vertical with his body mass.

  2. Is there any reason at all why the NFL shouldn’t introduce a rule that all NFL stadiums must use artificial turf? There is literally no disadvantage to artificial turf at this point. Less injuries, better footing, cheaper to maintain, the whole nine yards.

  3. the same videos showing Oher skating also show the right guard with the same problem … lack of footing ..

  4. We can argue the field wasn’t top condition but both teams played on the same turf. The guy pushing Oher back didn’t seem to have any issues keeping his footing.

  5. They video of him sliding is deceiving. He just does a bad job of trying to anchor his left foot while continually trying to set his right foot. His left foot cleats are parallel to the ground and never catch the turf. He’s not ripping up turf as he’s being pushed back so the grass looks fine. Probably just a case of the wrong sized cleats for the field. Plus those guys are wearing a ridiculous amount of athletic tape to support their ankles.

  6. Why does it have to be one or the other? Not everyone had that much trouble, so cleats are clearly at issue, but still. I’ve not seen someone slide on grass like that, even if they were wearing sneakers.

  7. Seahawks had the same problem in Carolina, the telecast showed them changing cleats midgame. It’s on the players to test the field during warmups and choose the right footwear. As pointed out, Ware and Miller had no problem.

  8. That’s part of the problem: Everyone is always looking for someone or something to blame. How about Oher takes responsibility for his inability to get the the issue solved during the game?

    Was he playing in isolation out there? There were 21 other players on the field while Oher was playing. They all weren’t having the same issue.

    It’s so tiring hearing players and fans incessantly whine and complain about anything and everything. Look, officials are people, they’re bound to make mistakes. Deal with it.

    Playing surfaces vary from venue to venue. Deal with it.

  9. I watched the video. In what quarter did this take place? If early in the 1st quarter the equipment manager should be able to make cleat changes to compensate. If it was still happening in the 4th quarter after different spike options had been tried, then I would say the field was bad.

    To be perfectly honest (and not sound like a hater) given all the errors in judgment we have all witnessed by the NFL front office the last year or so, I’ll bet the field was horrible, (despite what Ron Rivera said) and there was nothing the most talented equipment manager could do to overcome it.

  10. I know we dont like to take direct aim at the NFL but we read about the field turf at the stadium back when RG3 was hurt when discussing who had worse turf.

    His equipment team could have helped somewhat but we’ve known this was a problem ever since it was chosen as a superbowl location.

  11. This either should be an issue or it shouldn’t. I mean, the NFL and it’s fans love to say all regular season and especially in the post-season that “football should be played in the elements” and “both teams play under the same conditions”.

    But, then, in the Superbowl, everyone says “this game should be only about the football” and “it can’t be played in northern climates”.

    So, which is it? Either you’re okay with football being played on crummy surfaces or you aren’t. The 49ers have had problems with that field since day one. But they still play on it. Playing a game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in January isn’t much different (other than you aren’t freezing when you slide across the field).

    To me, Ron Rivera is right. The field isn’t the reason the Panthers lost. So, it would be ridiculous to blame the field. But at the same time, it’s ridiculous to blame the equipment staff. It is squarely on the players themselves to know how to play football on the wide variety of field conditions that exist in the NFL. You can’t block the same way in San Fran as you do in Charlotte (which is strange because both fields are crap!).

  12. Micheal Oher played so terribly for the Tennessee Titans a year ago that they cut him quickly, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out type of thing…. I was shocked he got a job with the Carolina Panthers… Now they see him as a long term answer in Carolina potentially ?
    I felt he gave Cam Newton very little protection in the Superbowl loss…

    Yeah it was the field uh huh…

    —Titans Fan Dan

  13. ware and miller had no problem..

    its a tad harder to go backwards than forwards at full throttle…not making excuses just saying this shouldn’t happen on either side of the ball

    cmon nfl…get.it.together

  14. Cleats available come in 3 different lengths. 1/2″ , 5/8″ and 3/4″. The molded shoe is probably the preferred style of many players but in some cases not the correct choice. There should be a set of the cleat shoes available for EVERY PLAYER at ALL games and able to change the cleats on a pair of shoes (7 on each shoe) in about a minute or less! (NASCAR TIRE CHANGE 🙂 )

  15. truths4all says:
    Feb 11, 2016 1:46 PM
    Just can’t wait for the Panthers and Haters to blame the Patriots for the terrible firld. Its what LOSERS do.

    No, everyone knows that the Patriots only cheat in the Super Bowls that they actually play in. They sat this year out.

  16. DrSteveBrule says:
    Feb 11, 2016 1:41 PM

    They video of him sliding is deceiving. He just does a bad job of trying to anchor his left foot while continually trying to set his right foot. His left foot cleats are parallel to the ground and never catch the turf. He’s not ripping up turf as he’s being pushed back so the grass looks fine. Probably just a case of the wrong sized cleats for the field. Plus those guys are wearing a ridiculous amount of athletic tape to support their ankles.

    Maybe I am just not understanding, but your post, in my interpretation, is saying that Oher is trying to block a guy while levitating. You say his left foot is parallel to the turf, meaning it isn’t on the ground. And he is in the process of setting his right foot, meaning it isn’t yet on the ground…

  17. This is proof the NFL wanted Denver to win.
    When Denver was on offense, the NFL flicked a secret switch (installed by the Patriots and personally wired up by Brady and Belichick) , and the turf became better and the Denver players weren’t affected. Then when the Panther got the ball, they flipped the switch again.

    If you watch closely, it wasn’t Von Miller who caused those 2 strips. A small white rabbit pops up out of the field, knocks the ball lose, then dives into a little hole. It happened twice, go check.

    In addition the NFL pre-filmed some players that they swapped in, so when the refs were watching replays, they saw what the NFL wanted them to see.

    It’s a conspiracy!

  18. I’ll take “The NFL Is Wrong” for 500 Alex.

    I swear they wake up every day and go into the morning meeting and the first question is “How can we scew up today?”

  19. watch Oher’s feet. they’re not moving. good pass blocking technique you’re supposed to keep your feet moving to help maintain your balance and agility. would have also helped him with his footing.

  20. Probably the Panthers equiptment people. If you notice in the Oher on Ice play, #70 of the Panthers towards the end of the play also ends up skating. As the Bronco’s pass rush didn’t seem to have too much of the same problem, gotta say equiptment.

  21. There are some true idiots on here. This could’ve been an issue just in that particular section of the field, hence the reason both teams may not have had the same result or issue. Clearly, there was an issue with footing in some areas. I also blame the Panthers’ coaching staff for not changing cleats immediately after this was discovered. Fields like this benefit the defensive line. And if anyone really noticed, Carolina’s D played just as good as Denver’s D. Take away the botched calls…..Cotchery’s catch, Denver offside on the FG, illegal hit to Cam’s head and face mask during the Miller sack/fumble/td, Talib not being tossed for his face mask toss, the halo rule being honored by Carolina only to allow Norwood the big return, etc…the game would have been close. The best team didn’t win on Sunday, but that happens many times in the Super Bowl. We’ll be back better and stronger, so continue to hate, haters!

  22. I’m sorry but I’ve not heard anyone in the media, other than this author, complain about the turf. The turf at that stadium has been a problem all year but by most accounts the turf during the super-bowl was in exceptional condition. If you want to talk about bad turf go look at the replay of Seattle at Carolina. Seattle players were falling and slipping all over the place until they were able to change their cleats. By then we were down 31-0 and still we didn’t blame the loss on the turf!

  23. seacougvegas says:
    Feb 11, 2016 3:05 PM
    I’m sorry but I’ve not heard anyone in the media, other than this author, complain about the turf.
    Media isn’t talking about it bc its the offseason, Cams bs, and really they don’t speak negatively about a league that provides news to pay their salaries.

  24. So who cares. Why is ther blame and analysis over every conceivable thing in the NFL? Catch rule, Inflated balls, field, cleats, interviews…give it a rest already. All this over analysis by “experts” hhat have figured out how to use Twitter is sapping the life out of this game

  25. I blame the tax payers of Santa Clara. Should have spent more tax money on better grass! Shame on you! Luckily those of us in SoCal have a billionaire flipping the bill so I expect our free stadium to have the best grass Kronke’s money can buy.

  26. As a highly paid professional one would assume Mr. Oher is capbale of deciding for himself if his ttire is appropriate for the situation.

  27. I guess they haven’t heard of cleats. Even a high school team knows when they have to go for a deeper cleat. If he slid as much as he did, and he did it more than once, then he is an idiot and so is the teams equipment manager. How is that the fault of the stadium. If it rained and there was an inch of standing water on the field, he would still have to do his job. If it snowed 6 inches, it doesn’t matter, he still has to do his job. Had I seen any other tackle having that same problem in any other game in Levi stadium, I would say its a problem. But the problem rests with Oher and the Carolina staff, not the grass. Justin Tucker sank 8 inches into a hole when missing a game winning field goal during the season and the league said too bad so sad. Same for the crybaby Panthers. I’m surprised Oher didn’t sit on the bench with a towel on his head and cry and then refuse to talk to anyone and then declare being a sore loser and a crybaby is okay now.

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