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Can Michael Sam earn a spot in a deep DE rotation in St. Louis?


As with just about any other seventh-round pick, Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam faces a challenge to make the 53-player roster.

The 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Sam joins a club that is already very strong at his position. The Rams’ starting right end, Robert Quinn, earned 2013 Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Pro Football Writers of America after a 19-sack season. The starting left end, Chris Long, has two seasons of 11 sacks or more to his credit.

When the Rams go to their bench, they can call on seventh-year pro William Hayes, who’s notched a combined 12 sacks in two seasons with St. Louis and signed a three-year contract with the club in 2013. Another reserve end, Eugene Sims, has 54 regular season appearances to his credit with St. Louis.

If the Rams keep Sims and Hayes in 2014 — which seems quite reasonable — then Sam could be competing for the fifth defensive end role. The club carried five ends into the opening week of 2013, with the now-departed Gerald Rivers making the roster at the start of the regular season.

Mason Brodine, who spent the 2013 season on the Rams’ practice squad, is among the candidates for a reserve role behind the Rams’ primary ends. It’s also possible the club could add more DE depth in undrafted free agency.

The 6-foot-2, 261-pound Sam was the only defensive end selected among the Rams’ 11 picks in the 2014 draft. In some ways, that’s a good thing for him. In other ways, it’s a sign of the tough work ahead, for defensive end didn’t really look like a pressing need for St. Louis entering the draft.

Like other late-round selections and undrafted free agents, Sam can only help his cause to make the roster if he shows skill in special teams coverage. As an entry-level employee in a competitive business, he’ll have to show the go-getter spirit of the ultimate generalist — the willingness to do anything and everything the coaches ask — while displaying the professional defensive skill the Rams clearly believe he has.

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23 Responses to “Can Michael Sam earn a spot in a deep DE rotation in St. Louis?”
  1. cornernum23 says: May 10, 2014 8:10 PM

    Fourth straight article about this guy…

  2. camcameronsucks says: May 10, 2014 8:17 PM

    He went to school in Missouri.

    He got drafted by St. Louis.

    St. Louis wants to sell tickets and they’re in the perfect position to do so.

  3. gbart22 says: May 10, 2014 8:20 PM

    As a gay person I can’t wait for the day when ones sexuality isn’t thought of in any respect.

  4. rrhoe says: May 10, 2014 8:20 PM

    Plz,plz,let’s not do this PFT. He’s a seventh round pick,the odds are not in his his favor but I wish him well. Don’t know of any recent late picks getting this much press.

  5. coachbeck says: May 10, 2014 8:22 PM

    We gonna get multiple articles on Demetrius Rhaney as well?

  6. turfrage says: May 10, 2014 8:25 PM

    Stop exploiting this kid for your gain!! He’s a 7th round pick who may end up being used in several different ways on this team. Enough is enough PFT!! You’re obsessed!

  7. redzona says: May 10, 2014 8:27 PM

    Giving a 7th round pick pub because of sexual preference? C’mon already he’s a football player. Media needs to stop making this more than it is so the guy can live his life damn.

  8. mykpfsu says: May 10, 2014 8:28 PM

    “rrhoe says:
    May 10, 2014 8:20 PM
    Plz,plz,let’s not do this PFT. He’s a seventh round pick,the odds are not in his his favor but I wish him well. Don’t know of any recent late picks getting this much press.”

    Why do you think he came out to the public before the draft?

  9. benh999 says: May 10, 2014 8:35 PM

    Please stop.

  10. slick50ks says: May 10, 2014 8:41 PM

    You knew these guys would over do it.

    Imagine the outrage when he’s cut.

  11. thekingdave says: May 10, 2014 8:42 PM

    Pot meet kettle. Next time Florio gives one of his bash ESPN posts remember this. And the Tebow watch. And the Favre muckraking even into 2012.

  12. vikesr4reel says: May 10, 2014 8:44 PM

    This will turn into a complete circus over nothing
    Leave it alone already

  13. jturner08 says: May 10, 2014 8:46 PM

    Seriously… 4 articles in a row on this guy… I guess once he gets cut by the Rams we can look forward to 100 more articles about him…

  14. motleytrap says: May 10, 2014 8:46 PM

    If they carry 5 DE than maybe.

    Even then, in addition to Long, Quinn, Hayes I think Aaron Donald will be lining up at end on some plays.

    I just don’t see much playing time for this kid, if any.

  15. jdphx says: May 10, 2014 8:48 PM

    “Can Michael Sam earn a spot…”

    Umm. No.

  16. purpleman527 says: May 10, 2014 8:50 PM

    When he gets cut, the stories will be that he was cut because he was gay. The Rams will need to hire a good civil rights attorney.

  17. jrcoop says: May 10, 2014 8:53 PM

    Smart of Fisher to appease the Mizzou fans.

  18. jrob23 says: May 10, 2014 8:56 PM

    He is a situational player. He needs to get in better shape no doubt and I am sure they don’t think he will come in and supplant a starter. But his rush skills and football smarts are enough to warrant a draft pick. I think the stress of everything he went through got in the way of his training and preparation. He probably won’t be a everydown LB but he can fill in for injuries and possibly develop into a starter if he bust his butt. If Vontaze Burfict with his awful workouts can come in and make good so can Sam.

  19. ryanw822 says: May 10, 2014 9:00 PM

    practice squad for 2 seasons then released when everyone forgets about him.

  20. smoothaswilkes says: May 10, 2014 9:25 PM

    Can’t believe the reigning SEC DPOY lasted to round 7! Definitely newsworthy. I mean how many DPOYs from the best conference in the country last that long. I’m in shock.

  21. patriotsdefense says: May 10, 2014 9:53 PM

    practice squad

  22. higheriqthanyou says: May 10, 2014 10:18 PM


  23. 737driver69 says: May 12, 2014 8:04 PM

    He is a goner before the season begins

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