Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Oher, Vollmer provide mirror images
By Chris Forsberg
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Ravens head coach John Harbaugh admitted his team had Patriots rookie tackle Sebastian Vollmer high on its draft board, but didn't give the German-born lineman much consideration after selecting Michael Oher with the 23rd overall selection.
Yet as the Patriots and Ravens prepare for Sunday's wild-card clash at Gillette Stadium, the similarities between the players weren't lost on Harbaugh.
"I don't know how often that happens, I'd like to see a stat or history on that," Harbaugh said during a conference call with the New England media, referencing Oher's switch from starting right tackle to left tackle this season. Vollmer performed similar duties in New England because of injuries to starters Matt Light and Nick Kaczur at various times during the season.
"For a rookie to come in, start, play really well, then go to other side and start -- making a seamless transition from the left to the right -- it says a lot about his talent and work ethic. That's double the reps, footwork wise, and also to understand the mental aspect, that's a smart guy.
"We really liked Sebastian coming out [of the University of Houston]," Harbaugh said. "We had him high on our draft board. Once we got Michael, that preempted that. [Patriots coach] Bill [Belichick] drafted him pretty high, but [Vollmer's] a very smart guy, a very hard worker. And he's huge."