The Blind Side Summary, Chapter 5: Death of a Lineman

by Amy Holwerda

This chapter is a free excerpt from Quicklet on The Blind Side.

The strategy of football changed at just the right moment for Michael Oher to rocket into superstardom. In December 1975, Cincinnati Bengals’ assistant coach, Bill Walsh, ran plays from the press box above the field. From this height, Walsh could see exactly what went wrong with his plays and what went right. He realized that the quarterback sacks seem to occur in the player’s blind spot.

In an important game versus the Oakland Raiders, the star quarterback of the Bengals was taken down by a linebacker during an important play that ultimately lost the Bengals their game. Walsh says on Page 92, “I made up my mind right then, there had to be a better way. And if I was ever in that situation again, I’d handle the blind side rush differently.” Walsh wasn’t in that situation again until 1981 when his team faced off against the Giants and his quarterback faced off against offensive lineman Lawrence Taylor.


Complete 10-second survey to read full article!

The strategy of football changed at just the right moment for Michael Oher to rocket into superstardom. In December 1975, Cincinnati Bengals’ assistant coach, Bill Walsh, ran plays from the press box above the field. From this height, Walsh could see exactly what went wrong with his plays and what went right. He realized that the quarterback sacks seem to occur in the player’s blind spot.

In an important game versus the Oakland Raiders, the star quarterback of the Bengals was taken down by a linebacker during an important play that ultimately lost the Bengals their game. Walsh says on Page 92, “I made up my mind right then, there had to be a better way. And if I was ever in that situation again, I’d handle the blind side rush differently.” Walsh wasn’t in that situation again until 1981 when his team faced off against the Giants and his quarterback faced off against offensive lineman Lawrence Taylor.

One of the first main changes that Walsh made to his lineup was to remove 2 of the 5 receivers and replace them with tacklers who could help protect the quarterback, thus ensuring that he had a few extra seconds with the ball before a pass, improving his aim. He also changed the game to a passing game, in which the quarterback was encouraged to pass the ball even if it only meant a 3-yard gain. At first, critics argued that Walsh was taking a sense of grandeur out of the game. People paid good money to watch 20-yard passes, but all of Walsh’s hecklers were silenced when they saw that his system worked.

Soon, the idea that the system, not the quarterback, was the star of the football team began to spread. Coaches began encouraging their quarterbacks to pass more during the game, emphasizing passing over running. In 1975, teams were passing an average of 24 times each game. By 1990, that number had risen to, on average, 34 passes per game. As teams protected their quarterback more diligently, the average pass from a quarterback rose from 4.6 yards each throw in 1975 to over 7 yards per throw in 1990.

Additionally, quarterback accuracy rose from 50 – 60% during those same years. Although these numbers may seem small to an average reader, those well-versed in the averages of football recognize that the improvement is astronomical when compared to the almost nonexistent change in the previous history of football. Once it was realized that quarterbacks needed more protection in this new passing game, their focus changed to finding the men that could protect them.

Price: $2.99 Add to Cart
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 100% refund
  • Free updates