Twelve years ago, Michael Roos had never heard of the National Football League. Six years ago, he’d never played organized football. If all goes well next weekend, Roos will become the highest draft pick in Eastern Washington University history and, should he make a roster, the first Estonian in the NFL. Explaining how this happened, in football terms, is relatively easy. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Roos is blessed with good genetics and a determined attitude, and he seems to improve on a daily basis. “He’s the best (offensive) lineman that’s ever been here,” said EWU coach Paul Wulff, who first noticed Roos while watching one of Roos’ high school teammates on videotape. “I saw this big kid running a route – he was a tight end then. Then I watched him play basketball and as soon as I saw his frame I thought we had something here. He did everything I thought he could.”
Explaining the rest of Roos’ unlikely journey requires a conversation with his strong-willed mother, Mae Bates, who grew so skeptical of corruption in the Estonian government that she moved her three children to Vancouver, Wash., in December 1992.
“I wanted my kids to have a better life than me,” Bates said in a phone interview from her current home in suburban Atlanta. “I had an opportunity to make a change. Lots of people (in Estonia) didn’t have that opportunity.” Above is a portion of the article from JIM MEEHAN / SPOKESMAN REVIEW / APRIL 17, 2005
Now entering his 6th Season in the NFL, Michael Roos is one of the best left tackles in the League. Although he only began playing on the offensive line as a sophomore in college, Michael Roos is one of the NFL’s top linemen and a building block of the Titans’ future. Roos’ size (6-7, 315 pounds), athleticism and intelligence have made him one of the premier young left tackles in the NFL. He has started every game in his first six seasons, 15 games at right tackle and 81 contests at left tackle. In 2009, was a member of an offensive line that blocked for the NFL’s second-best rushing attack (162.0 yards per game) and opened holes for Chris Johnson who became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards. Also, part of an offensive front that allowed just 16 sacks, the second fewest in the NFL. In 2008, Michael was selected to his first career Pro Bowl and was named first-team Associated Press All-Pro after helping the offensive line allow an NFL-low 12 sacks. Roos began playing football as a high school senior and did not play on the offensive line until his sophomore year in college. He gained notoriety among NFL scouts with his impressive showing at the 2005 Senior Bowl, dominating Division I-A players at both left and right tackle spots.