Michael Oher doesn't like 'The Blind Side,' but Panthers teammates love movie, and him

Even though he doesn't care much for "The Blind Side," the movie based on his teen years in Memphis, Michael Oher likes that his Panthers teammates aren't afraid to joke with him about it. Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nobody in the Carolina Panthers' locker room is a bigger fan of left tackle Michael Oher than right tackle Mike Remmers.

Not just Oher, the teammate who will defend quarterback Cam Newton's blind side from Dwight Freeney in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against Arizona.

Oher, the movie character.

Remmers likes the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster "The Blind Side" so much that when the Panthers acquired Oher, the person the movie was based on, Remmers wouldn't give up No. 74.

So Oher, a former first-round pick and Super Bowl champion with Baltimore who wore No. 74 in real life (and in the movie), took No. 73.

"I tried to get it," Oher said Wednesday of No. 74. "He said that's his favorite movie."

Oher isn't a particularly big fan of the movie. He doesn't like the way he's depicted early in the film, as a football neophyte. He doesn't like the impressions people form about him, based on the movie, before they get to know the real him.

During a June minicamp, Oher told ESPN.com "I don't like the movie," because people downgrade him on the field based on what they see on the film.

From the time the Panthers signed Oher to a two-year, $7 million deal in March, his teammates have teased him about the movie. It began with center Ryan Kalil and trickled throughout the rest of the line.

Oher sometimes gets five texts a day from Remmers about the movie. Some will include pictures and videos. On Wednesday, Remmers jokingly showed Oher how to get in a stance the way the actors did in the movie.

Remmers likes the movie so much, he quotes lines from it better than Oher.

"First it would be, 'Michael, this here is your quarterback. When you think of him, think of me,'" Remmers said with a laugh. "We just make sure he knows who the quarterback is at all times to help him out, because sometimes he forgets."

By making light of the movie, the Panthers actually made Oher feel at home.

"When it [the movie] first came out, guys in Baltimore waited a couple of years to start bringing it up," said Oher, a first-round pick by the Ravens in 2009. "I'm happy they can be comfortable around me enough to get on me for that stuff. It's fun to me."

Oher has made football more fun for the Panthers. He stabilized a position that was in disarray after Jordan Gross retired following the 2013 season.

He has given Newton a comfort level that has contributed to his MVP season.

"Michael Oher brings a dynamic to this team that we may not have had prior to him," Newton said.

General manager Dave Gettleman recently called the acquisition of Oher his best offseason move.

Oher has played his best lately. He didn't allow a quarterback pressure in the regular-season finale against Tampa Bay, earning a season-best grade of plus-3.4 from Pro Football Focus. He also didn't allow a pressure in Sunday's NFC divisional playoff win against Seattle.

"That guy is one of the most dedicated players on this team," Remmers said. "He's constantly in here trying to get better, trying to get ready to go for that week."

Remmers, without going into detail, is the first to admit that Oher is quite different from the character in the movie.

"I understand Hollywood changes some things here and there," he said diplomatically.

Oher didn't want to go into all the differences between him and the movie character, who had a sad look for much of the film, but he doesn't mind joking about them.

"Have you seen my smile? This handsome guy? Did you see that personality?" Oher said. "That's a big difference."

Back to real life, Oher looks forward to his battle with Freeney. His goal is to create a Hollywood-type ending to Carolina's season.

And if "The Blind Side" happens to be playing in the team hotel at the Super Bowl, as it was during so many other road games this season, Oher has options.

"It was a great movie and inspired so many people," he said. "But just hearing so much about it, I like to watch whatever else is on the [videos-on-]demand at the hotels."