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Kaufman provides context to Dungy remarks


Hall of Fame coaching finalist and NBC Football Night in America analyst Tony Dungy made major waves on Monday with comments to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune regarding Rams defensive end Michael Sam.

I wouldn’t have taken him,” Dungy told Kaufman.  “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth . . . things will happen.’’

On Tuesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Kaufman provided context and further insight regarding the remarks.

“I think what he was trying to say, and this is what’s going to make it very difficult in terms of an additional response, because it’s sensitive,” Kaufman said.  “Dan, this is not Sammy Watkins.  This is Michael Sam.  And by that I mean, by definition, a seventh-round draft pick is marginal.  The guy’s marginal.  May make the roster, may not make the roster.  Nobody’s gonna be surprised if any seventh-round pick doesn’t make the roster.

“So I think it’s almost like he’s not worth the trouble,” Kaufman said of Sam.  “Now, you can’t say that, that’s a very crude way to put it.  And Tony won’t put it like that.  But I think you’ve got to factor in the fact that [Sam] almost went undrafted, and there’s no question that the Oprah Network and TMZ, they’re gonna be at Rams Park, and they’re not gonna be there to check on Aaron Donald’s progress at nose tackle.  And you know that.  They’re gonna be there for a specific purpose . . . . He put his coaching hat on and not as an analyst for NBC in answering the question and as a coach, a marginal prospect weighed against the distraction, and that’s why he said what I said.  That’s what I think he meant.”

Eventually, we’ll hear more about what Dungy meant.  He’s scheduled to join Dan’s show later in the week.  Until then, the reaction to the comments will continue.

“I’m a little surprised about what he said,” Kaufman said of Dungy.  “I was surprised at the time.  I’m surprised now.  Just because of his reputation as a pioneer, outspoken about minority issues.  Keeping an open mind on hiring practices.  Don’t go in with stereotypes.  But, again, I don’t think he was being homophobic.”

Sam is indeed a marginal prospect.  Rams G.M. Les Snead told PFT Live two days after picking Sam that the Rams hoped to sign a pair of defensive ends as undrafted free agents, but that the team feared undrafted free agents wouldn’t choose to join a depth chart stacked with pass rushers.  That makes the uphill climb even more challenging for Sam.

And that makes this situation far different from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball.  Robinson’s talent was undeniable.  Branch Rickey wouldn’t have stuck his neck out for a player who would have been struggling to stay on the roster.  The Rams have willingly embraced a slew of potential distractions with no obvious strategic upside.

That’s possibly what Tony was saying.  We’ll know much more when Tony addresses the comments later this week.

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128 Responses to “Kaufman provides context to Dungy remarks”
  1. 5150cd says: Jul 22, 2014 9:51 AM

    I would hope that after the grief he must have felt for his son he would’ve been a little more understanding to Michael Sam’s plight.

  2. billswillnevermove says: Jul 22, 2014 9:52 AM

    Tony is spot on.

  3. hodous says: Jul 22, 2014 9:53 AM

    Dungy is another example of a good man who answered a question honestly and is getting persecuted by the very very small minority of people who believe the best way to cure something is to repeatedly shove it in the face of the masses.

  4. tennesseeoilers says: Jul 22, 2014 9:53 AM

    “And that makes this situation far different from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. Robinson’s talent was undeniable. Branch Rickey wouldn’t have stuck his neck out for a player who would have been struggling to stay on the roster. The Rams have willingly embraced a slew of potential distractions with no obvious strategic upside.”

    Exactly. And that’s why Dungy’s statements were flawlessly logical.

  5. ctiggs says: Jul 22, 2014 9:54 AM

    100% agree

  6. psuorioles says: Jul 22, 2014 9:55 AM

    I applaud Dungy for his comments… We all know NFL coaches don’t like distractions that take away from football and Sam, appears to be more interested in telling his story than playing football…

  7. fissels says: Jul 22, 2014 9:57 AM

    I have no problem with Tony’s comments. He knows how distractions can hinder a team’s progress. I don’t think he was judging Sam.

  8. allhailkingflacco says: Jul 22, 2014 9:58 AM

    Maybe Dungy is sick and tired of all the PC crap being spewed all over the place and spoke what was on his mind.

    Nothing wrong with that.

  9. floreskins says: Jul 22, 2014 9:58 AM

    What he said was 100% correct. Micheal Sam “the player” isn’t worth Michael Sam “the spectacle”. Tim Tebow wasn’t worth the spectacle either and Tebow (unbelievably) was a much better player than Sam is.

  10. bucforever says: Jul 22, 2014 10:00 AM

    Coach Dungy’s religious beliefs are well known. But his opinion was not at all about that. I think that he did put his coaching hat on and was imagining all the distractions of the media circus at every game and the media microscope he would be under with every decision that was made on Michael Sam. Not worth it!

  11. donl517 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:01 AM

    Oh no that couldn’t be what he meant, had to be a slur, had to be.

  12. kwjsb says: Jul 22, 2014 10:02 AM

    Just because the media disagrees doesn’t mean he was wrong.

    The NFL hates distractions, Look at Kluwe and Tebow, both became distractions both are gone.

    Different sides of the political spectrum, same results.

    Real Equality… Live with it

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 22, 2014 10:03 AM

    Well thanks for the context that sure would have been a lot more helpful when Dungy released his comments which quite frankly I found shocking coming from him. But why was he a 7th Rounder? If he never came out would he possibly have gone higher? It’s possible that the Rams felt that nobody would give him a chance or that he would fall much further and they knew they could pick him up for a really cheap cost.

    And whatever that trouble was, well that trouble was an opportunity for a team to improve their locker room by teaching the room full of young men how to be better men and to build something unique and special while other teams are fighting with themselves and bullying each other. It will be interesting to hear what the Rams think and say in the future after having this experience of welcoming somebody onto the team that clearly wasn’t welcome very many other places.

    Looking forward to hearing more from Dungy for some more context direct from him. I think we can all agree his comments were a little incomplete and perhaps misinterpreted, and follow-up comments can clear things up so we can have a more genuine appreciation for what he meant.

  14. r8drn8tn says: Jul 22, 2014 10:03 AM

    Pioneers don’t always have to be super talented. It helps, but Sam is breaking ground and making it easier on the next gay athlete to come out even if he does not make the team. Good for him!

  15. derklempner says: Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM

    Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect”?

  16. nesby2 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM

    What is wrong with the world today where it has become so protective & defending of gay rights that they’ve become prejudice & discriminatory of other peoples opinion when they are not on board with a situation regarding anyone that is gay?! In the past 10 years people people of the gay & lesbian lifestyle has become the most hostile & non understanding groups of our past time, forcing themselves on the media & mainstream America & if you disagree your attacked & accused of being a bigot or hate gays & lesbians just for not agreeing with something that THEY think is right no matter the subject. Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black smh.

  17. Indybear says: Jul 22, 2014 10:06 AM

    So, now the sanctimonius, wildly-proclaimed “moral compass” of the NFL needs a mouthpiece to provide context to what he was trying to say? All this from a guy who quit coaching to spend more time with his family, yet is plastered all over the TV and has to constantly have his name in the news, regardless of the subject. Hypocrite. Never understood the Dungy draw. Probably the most overrated coach in the last 25 years of the NFL.

  18. odp456 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:07 AM

    Of course that denies the fact that he may have still been on the board in the seventh round because teams didn’t want the “distraction”. I mean, we all know he’s not Jadaveon Clowney, but the idea Sam is now a “marginal prospect” who was always destined to go undrafted is not exactly accurate either.

  19. thraiderskin says: Jul 22, 2014 10:08 AM

    That certainly make a lot more so sense. I’m not a Dungy fan, but I didn’t initially rip him, because I wasn’t sure what he was saying. If Kaufman is right, then I agree with Dungy.

  20. micknangold says: Jul 22, 2014 10:10 AM

    The bleeding hearts don’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth. Sam isn’t good enough to warrant the distractions he’ll bring to training camp. The Rams are going to regret this up until cut day.

    It’s not Sam’s fault; obviously he doesn’t want to distract his teammates with all kinds of extra non-football media types butting in where they aren’t wanted. Even if he asked them to stay away, they wouldn’t – you think Oprah and TMZ care at all about Sam as a person as opposed to as a symbol? Or worse, as ratings/page views/$$$? Hell no!

  21. upperdecker19 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:11 AM

    Welcome to the spin zone

  22. wvucolumbus says: Jul 22, 2014 10:11 AM

    Mr. Dungy is also a devout Christian. Thankfully, freedom of religion is one of the fundamental foundations of the best country in the world. It doesn’t just provide freedom for Islam, Judaism, Taoism, etc. It provides for freedom for Christianity. This may be another reason why he would rather not draft this particular player.

  23. dalfanforever says: Jul 22, 2014 10:11 AM

    I’m not surprised at what he said at all. Football is about team, not one guy and an agenda and a very vocal 2% of the population that will cry foul and protest if a 7th rounder gets cut. 7th rounders get cut all the time. Why? Many of marginal at best and either end up playing teams or get cut. The lucky ones end up on practice squad to develop or somehow make it to another roster.

    If Michael Sam was a 1st rounder, this would be all about football. He was good at Mizzou, but once you get to the pros it’s a whole new ball game.

    Kudos to the Rams for taking a brave stance, but if he flames out in training came, woe to them if they cut him. It’s going to be fiery and very ugly going forward because while they’re looking at it through the prism of football, many in the country will see it otherwise.

  24. bucrightoff says: Jul 22, 2014 10:11 AM

    The Rams have willingly embraced a slew of potential distractions with no obvious strategic upside.

    Seeing as Sam’s jersey is currently the 6th highest selling in the NFL, I think they’ve achieved their strategic goal here.

  25. mvp43 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:16 AM

    I wouldn’t of taken him either for the exact same reassons. Its not the fact that he’s gay, its all the other stuff that surrounds a decision like that. Do we now live in a society that prohibits us from having our own opinions?

    If Sam turns out to be a typical 7th round pick, the Rams will probably release him. But unlike a typical 7th round pick, the Rams will need to hold a press conference to explain this and they’ll be open to non stop criticism.

    That’s what Dungy doesn’t want to deal with, and I don’t blame him one bit.

  26. jtowndolfan says: Jul 22, 2014 10:16 AM

    Tony Dungy is like most church going members….Big Giant hypocrite.

  27. samphilvista82 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:17 AM

    31 out of 32 teams basically said the same thing Dungy did. If he had added “because he’s gay” at the end of this statement, you would have a story.

  28. bornahawker says: Jul 22, 2014 10:17 AM

    Maybe Tony actually told the TRUTH? Not the thing to do in this world.

  29. guinsrule2 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM

    Yet another distraction for the Rams…

  30. mancave001 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM

    That’s POSSIBLY what he was saying? Of course that’s what he was saying. It’s what everyone was saying prior to him being drafted. I didn’t hear or read one person saying he wasn’t wanted because he was gay. It was all about drafting a potentially marginal player who came with a boatload of distraction, and maybe even pressure from the NFL. Look at what happened with the draft day kiss…players getting disciplined for reacting, national cable news stories, etc. Who wants to deal with that? No one. The teams want to focus on one thing: Winning.

    And frankly, the lack of benefit of the doubt for Tony Dungy is astounding. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s a devout Christian.

  31. raiderufan says: Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM

    If this was Jon Gruden you’d be flaming him constantly for not coming right out addressing his comments and the situation….your buddy Tony? Let’s let him address it when he sees fit.

    We’re talking about a guy who in the past has said “I was dissapointed he didn’t take the biblical view” when discussing gay marriage. A guy who actively supported one of the biggest distractions of the time in Mike Vick getting a second chance.

    Just feels like you chose when to be offended based on friendship.

  32. captainspangled says: Jul 22, 2014 10:19 AM

    Why should he have to “address” them? Why does he need to “defend” them?

    He has a right to feel that way and feeling that way seems pretty dang reasonable to me. No coach wants that kind of off the field attention on their team. See Terrell Owens and Tim Tebow.

  33. 700levelvet says: Jul 22, 2014 10:19 AM

    We all know what he’s saying, and he has every right to think how he wants too. Let’s not sugarcoat it.

  34. patc14 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:19 AM

    Don’t agree with Dungy, but he has every right to have his opinion. End of story.

  35. nullaereale says: Jul 22, 2014 10:20 AM

    In a nutshell I think Dungy was saying that the risk of signing Sam far outweighs the benefits (regardless of his sexuality). Like Florio mentioned it’s a talent issue. Can you imagine the media circus during training camp or the scrutiny the Rams will face if they have to cut Sam? It’s NOT worth it–not for a 7th round talent. And Sam didn’t do himself any favors by having a crappy pro-day.

  36. luxinterior78 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:22 AM

    “Branch Rickey wouldn’t have stuck his neck out for a player who would have been struggling to stay on the roster. The Rams have willingly embraced a slew of potential distractions with no obvious strategic upside. That’s possibly what Tony was saying. We’ll know much more when Tony addresses the comments later this week.”

    Tony Dungy has always seemed to be a great coach and a great man in general to me, and I think it is in fact what he is saying. Why are his quotes not printed in full? I’m sorry, but with this new PC parade sweeping the country, I don’t put it past the media one bit to try and get controversy started. It’s getting old.

  37. packfaninpackland says: Jul 22, 2014 10:22 AM

    Nothing will happen to Dungy because he is an African-American. Had this have been a white former head coach with a TV job though, he would have been fired over this.

    NOOOOOOO question.

  38. clownsfan says: Jul 22, 2014 10:22 AM

    Nothin wrong w/what Dungy said. Just more overreaction from the PC police.

  39. easyeddie says: Jul 22, 2014 10:23 AM

    Tony has the perfect right to believe and say what he feels. We live in a supposedly free society, but the mob shuts down and tries to silence those who stray. The far-leftist culture we live in is dangerous.

  40. realdealsteel says: Jul 22, 2014 10:25 AM

    I don’t need any clarification about what Dungy said. It’s fine with me. He’s entitled to his opinion.

    Everybody knows his religious beliefs so why the surprise? He doesn’t have to follow the “PC” code.

  41. bucktoothzombie says: Jul 22, 2014 10:28 AM

    Dear God people can we PLEASE stop comparing gay issues to racial issues!!?
    Gays were NEVER made into slaves and tore away from their families!! This whole PR stuff is crap..

    Who cares who gays sleep with? The media is the ones to blame for all this over hyped stuff….

  42. primenumber19 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:29 AM

    He wasn’t saying that, nice attempt to cover though

  43. motleytrap says: Jul 22, 2014 10:29 AM

    What’s the big deal.

    Most GMs and coaches wouldn’t draft Sam. That’s how he ended up in the seventh round to begin with.

  44. nflpoker says: Jul 22, 2014 10:29 AM

    Sam is a 7th rounder for christt sake. Remember 31 teams didn’t draft him. I doubt that it was about his sexuallity. I wouldn’t have drafted him either and I support same sex marriage, etc.. Remember, it can go both ways. What if a team drafted him because he was gay, even though there were other players which were better players. I don’t see Dungy as a biggot. He has a right to express himself. A 7th rounder who would be a distraction?? Get serious people. Sorry Oprah. Remember what you said when Obbama got elected?? The first thing you talked about was his skin color, etc.. from a bigotteed point of view.

  45. pittsburghfan71 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:30 AM

    I didn’t see anything wrong with what Tony said. If you ask a man for an answer, you should expect the truth.

  46. shoeflypie says: Jul 22, 2014 10:30 AM

    It is important to see/hear the complete response, and to remember the context. I agree with you, the circus will be in town until all the cuts are made, afterward if the cut doesn’t go the way the circus wants.

    There is one thing that puzzles me. Many are pilorying Tony, but are forgetting he is on the sidelines, not in a position to take Sam or not. However, there are 31 coaches, who by passing on Sam down into the 7th round that can stand up and say, ” We DIDN’T take Sam.” Where is the outcry against those who had the opportunity?

  47. rjbell4 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:32 AM

    Whoa, context?! Since when do we care about context? I thought it was all about the “news”-worthy sound bite …

  48. jafo1265 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:34 AM

    We all knew what Tony meant. They need the headlines so if Sam gets cut, they still have a story. It’s a real shame to use a kid like that.

  49. ausernamethatisavailable says: Jul 22, 2014 10:34 AM

    Love tony dungys honesty and he is spot on here. As a head coach, you are paid to win games, not break down barriers. Find a gay guy that can be a difference maker and any coach would gladly take him. Picking a gay guy without considering the distraction is wreck less and the coach will be held accountable for it. Despite the fact the media will make sure to do whatever it can to prevent you from being held accountable for it.

  50. barneyrumble says: Jul 22, 2014 10:34 AM

    Sam was Co-Defensive player of the year in the SEC and then his pro day and combine work looked like he didn’t belong on a good high school team, let alone pro.

    Dungy was talking performance verses distractions and the ratio with Sam is weighed much more heavily with distraction than performance thus far, and if it stays that way, cutting Sam will be a HUGE distraction. I believe that is what Dungy meant.

  51. uglydingo says: Jul 22, 2014 10:36 AM

    In addition to Tony Dungy’s success as an NFL Coach he is also a top selling author having written Quiet Strength and Quiet Strength: Men’s Bible Study.
    It is ironic that the guy who has had so much success selling his message of overcoming obstacles, is so candid about Michael Sam.
    Make no mistake, Tony is the softly spoken low key voice of Christianity and the church wants to see Michael Sam fail.
    The timing of the comments just before Training Camp looks deliberate. It is to fuel the circus knowing it would put more pressure on Sam.

  52. dabears2485 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:36 AM

    I think the horse is dead. Time to stop beating it.

  53. takethetopofdefence says: Jul 22, 2014 10:37 AM

    Tony shouldn’t have to address his comments again, He is right your in a no win situation unless he is actually good. If he is not good and you keep him anyway because you don’t want the hassle that comes with cutting him than you lose a roster spot and if he is no good and you cut, you cut him because he is gay.

  54. mrfrostyj says: Jul 22, 2014 10:39 AM

    That doesn’t make it sound any better honestly. His “explanation” of Dungy’s comment is the total definition of prejudice actually.

    Basically that translates to “Unless you’re a potential pro-bowler don’t even try if you’re gay because you’re not worth his time”. This from an advocate of the Rooney Rule who’s purpose is to prevent that very thinking for the hiring of minority coaches and GM’s. Way to make him a hypocrite Kaufman.

    Anyway why does Dungy’s opinion even matter? He’s not an active coach anymore and a majority of his most successful years had nothing to do with him. He was a defensive expert head coach who fielded some of the worst defenses in Indianapolis Colts history. If he tells me he wouldn’t draft a certain defensive player and I’m a GM I’m considering that guy. Couldn’t be any worse that one season wonders like Marlon Jackson and Bob Sanders or even captain steroids Robert Mathis.

    Dear Tony, can you tell me that story about how Tim Tebow is going to be a great NFL QB again? I love fiction.

  55. 69finfan says: Jul 22, 2014 10:39 AM

    I agree with Tony Dungy and Ira Kauffman 1000% on this. Simply put, the law of diminishing returns is in play.

  56. pittsburgh84 says: Jul 22, 2014 10:39 AM

    The rational people knew what he meant. The ones who need more context are those who want to place the remarks into the narrative that the NFL is an intolerant place.

  57. shackdelrio says: Jul 22, 2014 10:41 AM

    Sorry. After going to bat for Plaxico Burress and Michael Vick, Dungy looks like a hypocrite.

    Dungy was advocating for teams to sign Burress as recently as 2011. Burress at that time was a 34 year old possession receiver with a self-inflicted bullet wound in his thigh.

    At that point in his career, by definition, he was marginal.

  58. railcarcowboy says: Jul 22, 2014 10:41 AM

    Tim Tebow all over again except in this case Sam is exaulted for being gay and Tebow persecuted for being a Christian. Leave these people alone! Only cover the sport as it is intended. Best wishes to Tebow and Sam.

  59. racksie says: Jul 22, 2014 10:41 AM

    From anyone else I would think differently about these comments. But From Dungy, i think it was an honest answer about taking on a headache for a player that would likely not make the team. And the storm that would follow if he did get cut. It really is a no win situation for a coach.

  60. tigerhawkeye says: Jul 22, 2014 10:47 AM

    Dungy could have stated it better, but I got the impression that he was saying that the draft pick has the potential to incur far more downside than upside for the Rams. If Sam makes the team then the Rams have a decent (but hardly outstanding) new player. In the far more unlikely event that Sam is cut, however, the Rams will face numerous accusations of sexual orientation discrimination from outspoken outlets such as TMZ. Dungy is right in this situation and I say that as a big Mizzou fan.

  61. bridgeh20mvp says: Jul 22, 2014 10:47 AM

    So people are shocked at dungys refreshing honesty???? Of course , they want to hear the watered down political correct answer!
    ” I would have loved to take him! He is the next LT, On the field and Boy George off the field, double threat guy!

  62. teeroyb says: Jul 22, 2014 10:48 AM

    If he gets cut, somebody’s gonna make a big deal of it because he’s gay. Political correctness will be the downfall of this country!

  63. exhelodrvr says: Jul 22, 2014 10:48 AM

    What’s ironic is that Dungy is trying to treat Sam like any other player – in his opinion the talent does not outweigh the distraction. In Vick’s case (which a lot of people are using as a comparison) the talent did outweigh the distraction.

  64. pack15forever says: Jul 22, 2014 10:49 AM

    Imagine if Michael Sam gets cut. Will gay rights supporters say it was because he lacked talent or because he is gay? How much attention is given to a player if he doesn’t make the team? But because Michael Sam isn’t any player then the Oprah’s, TMZ’s, and gay right activists will say or question if the decision was based on him being gay.

  65. kamthechancellor says: Jul 22, 2014 10:50 AM

    It’ll be a distraction until he gets cut in preseason. But then, of course, you’ll have the inevitable discrimination lawsuit. So Dungy is probably 100% right.

  66. chad504boy says: Jul 22, 2014 10:50 AM

    Tony has a history of not dealing with distractions well. Ask his son.

  67. censorshipstinks says: Jul 22, 2014 10:56 AM

    Why isn’t Sam getting the Tebow treatment? He did come out and confess he was gay. Tebow did they same thing except he said it about religion.

  68. criticaldsj says: Jul 22, 2014 10:57 AM

    Back pedal faster, bigot.

  69. jamaltimore says: Jul 22, 2014 10:57 AM

    Crazy this is getting so much coverage. He’s saying what everyone said at the time and from his background he’s obviously not a supporter of sam dating a white person.

  70. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 22, 2014 10:58 AM

    Dungy was asked to mentor Vick in prison. He did. Vick had a fantastic turnaround and was able to play again.

    That doesn’t mean Dungy would have hired Vick or that he has to want to have hired Sam, if he though both those guys would be distractions to his team.

    There is no conflict here. You just don’t like what he said, and are concerned he’s some kind of h***phobe, which he’s not.

  71. woodslive says: Jul 22, 2014 11:04 AM

    And Jackie Robinson didn’t celebrate by licking cake off of his wife in front of photographers either!

  72. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 22, 2014 11:05 AM

    And, why was Dungy’s encouraging of Tebow (that he would find the right team) taken in a way that somehow that meant Dungy would’ve hired Tebow? Where did he ever say that?

    The media is full of hypocrisy and just says whatever it wants to say.

  73. richardmzhlubb says: Jul 22, 2014 11:06 AM

    Bottom line for Dungy:

    Convicted dog killers deserve a second chance regardless of impact on the team; but

    Teams should steer clear of openly gay players because of the potential “distractions.”

    That’s pathetic and I really hope that NBC has the guts to fire him.

  74. steelersfanjclii says: Jul 22, 2014 11:06 AM

    Tony was ok with the distraction of Vick, but isn’t ok with the distraction of Sam? Hmmmm… I really never understood all the love for Dungy. If he was such a family man, maybe he would be best keeping his mug off of TV and inserting himself into whatever is topical in the NFL. Go home, Tony.

  75. therealtrenches says: Jul 22, 2014 11:06 AM

    I’m pretty danged liberal, pro-LGBT, and all that jazz.

    But I am not a *knee-jerk* liberal. So I am bracing for total embarrassment when knee-jerkers on my side of the political spectrum kick up a major storm over this, unable to hear the reason in Dungy’s words, ready to label him a hypocrite for supporting Michael Vick, but not Michael Sam.

  76. floreskins says: Jul 22, 2014 11:06 AM

    derklempner says:
    Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM

    Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect”?
    He’s slow, weak, lacks athleticism, no burst, useless against the run, doesn’t have a wide variety of pass rushing moves. Should I keep going or do you get the picture?

  77. boobsmcgoo says: Jul 22, 2014 11:07 AM

    He said nothing wrong, insensitive or insulting.

  78. futbawl says: Jul 22, 2014 11:10 AM

    Mr Dungy was just being honest and was 100% right for doing so. It’s the idiotic, self-righteous pc minority that are making this an issue. We need more people like Tony who aren’t afraid to tell the truth.

  79. theanalyticalkid says: Jul 22, 2014 11:13 AM

    The NFL soap opera continues.

    I’m trying to look back and find out at what point the NFL became a referendum on lifestyling and social revolution.

    Alas, apparently gone are the days when football was about football.

    Between the endless reporting on player crimes, political agendas, social agendas, overemphasis on sponsorship that has turned 4-hour games into 4-1/2 hour games, tiffs between owners, tiffs between players, etc.

    I feel like a virtual baby sitter. I’d pay far more than the cost of Sunday Ticket to return to the ’80s NFL.

  80. wolfiereasonedlife says: Jul 22, 2014 11:15 AM

    Oh I get it, you have to be a star to be a minority and fit in. Good to know. Thanks bigots.

  81. ranger40 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:16 AM

    derklempner says:
    Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM
    Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect”?

    Pat Tillman was Pac 10 defensive player of the year and was a “marginal prospect” picked in the 7th round. Happens from time to time.

  82. matt24bucs says: Jul 22, 2014 11:16 AM

    Wow! Someone has the courage to say the truth for once! And don’t worry Tony- myself and 31 other coaches wouldn’t have taken him either.

  83. noffy32 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:16 AM

    Good Christian being thrown under the bus by the non-religious and low moral PC idiots. Only 1.6% are LGBT and they are not the ones complaining. It’s the wanna be bleeding hearts that want a cause to cling on to til the next issue. Dungy is a well respected man who speaks the truth.

  84. rickgjags says: Jul 22, 2014 11:17 AM

    If Clowney was gay guess what? He’d still be the #1 overall pick. It’s football(throwball). That’s all it is. Just win.

  85. theanalyticalkid says: Jul 22, 2014 11:19 AM

    thestrategyexpert said;

    ” It will be interesting to hear what the Rams think and say in the future after having this experience of welcoming somebody onto the team that clearly wasn’t welcome very many other places. “

    What will be interesting to see how he plays and what happens the first time he gets cut.

    Good luck to the them with that.

    By the way, did you ever consider that maybe he was actually ranked higher than he should have been in draft reviews specifically because he did come out?

    I don’t see any football analyst lowering his value of a player based on this. I do see some of them inflating it because of it.

  86. campcouch says: Jul 22, 2014 11:21 AM

    Honestly,I haven’t heard anything about Sam since the draft, but Dungy said something and he’s back.

  87. 6ball says: Jul 22, 2014 11:23 AM

    Teams who a very talented like Dungy’s Colts or Belichick’s Patriots, have a tendency to be paranoid about outside influences, beyond their control, affecting the chemistry of their Super Bowl contending roster.

  88. willyalistentothis says: Jul 22, 2014 11:23 AM

    A 7th round pick should have his head down trying to avoid any distractions. This guy made another choice. Why would you want him around? It’s absurd to think that because this guy is gay that he should be absolved of his actions. Coaches have been preaching against distractions for decades. I am not sure if Sam’s motives are self promotion or the promotion of a cause, but either way, it is not helpful to the people who get paid to win football games or the people who pay good money to sit in the crowd. And this is why Dungy’s comments are perfectly reasonable.

  89. wolfiereasonedlife says: Jul 22, 2014 11:25 AM

    So I’m curious, how much better does a gay player have to be than a straight player at the bottom of a roster to make a Tony Dungy roster? What is the context that makes it OK to discriminate against a player because he is in a loving committed relationship with another person of the same gender while also advocating forgiveness for say someone who gets off on gambling and animal abuse or spousal abuse. Maybe Ray Lewis could lead him in prayer and be a better role model for us all when he isn’t covering up double homicides.
    Let me be clear, the gay player isn’t the distraction, the bigots are.

  90. handsatlanta says: Jul 22, 2014 11:30 AM

    From Coach Dungy…

    Family is important, and that’s what we’re trying to support. We’re not anti-anything else and not trying to hate anyone else. We’re trying to promote the family, family values, the Lord’s way. Just like I’m trying to win on the football field the Lord’s way. I’m on the Lord’s side when I’m on the field, and on the Lord’s side when I’m off the field.

    Suggests to me that he’s letting his personal beliefs control his football decisions. I believe those who challenge him for bringing back Michael Vick and not wanting to deal with Michael Sam have a valid point.

  91. outlaw53 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:30 AM

    Sexual orientation notwithstanding, the NFL is a business. If you owned a team, would you risk the distraction of a seventh round pick ( who don’t historically make the team in the majority of cases ) rattling your training camp? I don’t even like Dungy ( opinionated, biased, etc ) but in this case his point is valid. In all fairness to the greater group of players you have in camp, why would you want a player who had a terrible pro day in college, a pitiful combine, and limited skills being the first question asked by reporters at the end of the day? I’d want my team to be preparing to win instead.

  92. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 22, 2014 11:31 AM

    Who said he was ok with the distraction of Vick? He was mentoring Vick. He didn’t have to hire him. That was up to other owners/coaches. Not once did he say he’d hire Vick himself if he could have.


    steelersfanjclii says:
    Jul 22, 2014 11:06 AM
    Tony was ok with the distraction of Vick, but isn’t ok with the distraction of Sam?

  93. Bill Belitext says: Jul 22, 2014 11:33 AM

    How long until Jeff Fisher is paying a lot of money to a high profile lawyer when he is sued for discrimination when he cuts Sam at the end of August?

  94. CKL says: Jul 22, 2014 11:36 AM

    I’m not a Dungy fan.

    That said, I don’t have a problem with him having and stating his beliefs now that he’s no longer a head coach. I am very pro gay equality, but as long as people don’t act viciously against gay people out of bias, I couldn’t care less what they think. We are not the thought police (yet), and I hope we never will be. I men I’ve had bosses I hated and cursed out in my head. But as long as I did my job and wasn’t insubordinate, what’s the problem with thoughts?

    I did have a problem with his public stance on gay people when he was coaching because, again, while he can believe how he chooses, when you are in a position of leadership, it’s usually not a good thing to make your personal beliefs about private matters known. I am sure he has coached gay men, but I can’t imagine their being too comfortable in his presence once they knew his beliefs.

  95. shlort says: Jul 22, 2014 11:37 AM

    Tony’s first mistake was telling it like it is. Tony basically said what 99% of everyone else thinks.

    So, judging the response of the PC crowd, people should simply lie about things that might draw the ire of those who are trying to rule how people think.

    I suppose we should all remember that. Don’t speak your mind if you happen to be in front of a camera or a microphone. If you do speak your mind, you will be attacked relentlessly by the liberal/progressive media.

    I support Tony Dungy 100% is his point of view and his right to speak his mind without being attacked by the liberal media arm of the US Government.

  96. Getoffmylawn! says: Jul 22, 2014 11:44 AM

    Maybe the RAMS wanted the distraction of Sam so the press wouldn’t talk about how bad their QB is? Classic misdirection.

  97. shlort says: Jul 22, 2014 11:44 AM

    derklempner says:
    Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM

    Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect”?

    Perhaps he was given the award more for being gay that being a good player?

    Sexual orientation aside, go look up what the draft gurus had to say about Mike Sam’s potential as a professional football player. That will give you an answer to your question and apparent amazement that Sam is not considered pro material,l even though he won a plaque for being a college player.

  98. ttommytom says: Jul 22, 2014 11:45 AM

    Dungy is deeply religious thus anti-gay by definition.

    Sam is not good enough to overcome that. But the dog killer can be forgiven for the same biblical reasoning. More importantly, the dog killer was a better player.

    It’s all about the talent.

  99. drs12522 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:49 AM

    What if Chuck Noll had taken that attitude toward hiring the first black assistant coach on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tony Dungy.

  100. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 22, 2014 11:49 AM

    I applaud Dungy (a man I think has played PC on race issues) for speaking as he feels in this case.. and, hopefully, shedding more light on the dangers of PC

  101. eagirlsnextfatcoach says: Jul 22, 2014 11:49 AM

    What gets me is that he put his heart and soul behind a dog killer in order to get him a $100 million contract and then he ties an anchor to a guy trying to make a roster at league minimum who is also doing something that transcends football.

  102. jplantz says: Jul 22, 2014 11:55 AM

    Why didn’t Dungy have a problem with the distraction that came along with Michael Vick after he was released from prison for dog fighting?

    ZERO problem with Mike Vick.

  103. 4ever9er says: Jul 22, 2014 11:56 AM

    derklempner says: Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM

    Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect”?
    Derk because the reality is that while someone may be a great player in college it doesn’t mean that their college ability will translate to the NFL game, that is why some Heisman Trophy winners don’t live up to the expectations that people have for them. That’s why a undrafted free agent or late round draft pick can become a star. I watched M. Sam during his Junior and Senior seasons, then when I saw him in the Senior Bowl and at the scouting combine I didn’t see the same player. I could care less about his sexual orientation, but if I knew it was going to cause a media circus and I knew he was going to be a late round pick or undrafted free agent, then I wouldn’t draft him either. The reality in the NFL is that most coaches are on a year to year contract, no matter how many years they originally signed for and most wouldn’t take the risk of taking a distraction. Look at how many teams passed on Johnny Manziel, some of them passed because o the potential distraction, but he does at this point have more upside than a player like M. Sam.

  104. agator1969 says: Jul 22, 2014 11:57 AM

    Not everybody has to believe that being gay is okay. As long as you treat others with respect. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I respect Dungy for his.

  105. pugsley927 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:05 PM

    Dungy is a former coach who knows the culture of the game and answered a question honestly.

    He shouldn’t have to lie to appease the PC faction of our society.

    Whether he is right or not is completely irrelevant because he is entitled to his opinion.

    I totally support his right to form an opinion on a topic, no matter what it is, whether I agree with it or not.

  106. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 22, 2014 12:08 PM

    I agree Dungy has been hypocritical and not had same fairness in past

  107. loubearkane says: Jul 22, 2014 12:08 PM

    Hiring a Black head coach at one time would have been very distracting to a team , you do whats right , you look past the distractions. He is going to try and spin it but he can’t take it back. Lost a lot of respect for someone who was supposedly a righteous man.

  108. unlimitedcriticism says: Jul 22, 2014 12:14 PM

    Except that Michael Sam’s status as a 7th round draft pick already has the circus atmosphere baked into it. Which is to say that perhaps he’d have been a 4th rounder without the nonsense attached to him, which does not, in fact, make him a fringe talent and unlikely to make the roster.

  109. bakeberryjam says: Jul 22, 2014 12:21 PM

    It’s one thing to want to be progressive and foster support for minorities. It’s another thing to build a good football team. If the 2 don’t add up in your evaluations, well, you’re paid to manage football, not social change.

  110. gotitan says: Jul 22, 2014 12:22 PM

    derklempner says: Jul 22, 2014 10:05 AM

    Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect”?

    Combine numbers were horrible.

  111. dstep24 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:23 PM

    Are you sure most of you are football fans? As in the rough, tough sport where guys hit each other for a living?

    Stop being so sensy-poo. Stop trying to pretend you don’t know that Dungy is only saying what EVERY head coach and GM was thinking about Michael Sam.

    And if we really want to push for equality in this area, how “equal” would you feel if you were a seventh round pick but getting all the attention, camera time, interviews, etc.? We all yack about how this guy should be treated equally, but then the world is like “oh wow…let’s see shots of the GAY guy at practice”. Like he’s some kind of zoo animal. Get a life.

    This is football. Not the local grocery market. Guys get jobs in this league by being good players. Not by being a minority. Dungy is 100% correct. Not worth the circus.

  112. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 22, 2014 12:24 PM

    Frankly, Sam better hope all this circus ends ASAP. Else, his future in the NFL will be very short.

  113. kagey7 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:25 PM

    As a Bronco fan who lived thru – and was appalled by – the onslaught of media attention when Tebow was here, I understand where Dungy is coming from. And Tebow was, ahem…a 1st round draft pick…cough. cough. I would not wish the overblown coverage which included everything being analyzed and many times inaccurately reported on anyone.

  114. tangovader says: Jul 22, 2014 12:32 PM

    If you think the guy can help your team, you draft him. If you don’t, you pass. Simple as that. All of this ‘distraction’ crap is B.S. double talk. Sam has essentially been a luke-warm story at best and I doubt it’s gonna be super-bowl media day every day of training camp for the Rams. There will be some initial buzz for certain markers, (first practice, first preseason game, cut-day, ect…) eventually ESPN will move on to something else and so will we.

    But at the end of the day, if a coach can’t handle deflecting a few questions from the media or refusing access to a few extra reporters, that’s not Michael Sam’s problem.

    To hear some people talk, you’d think every coach is going to be flailing their arms in panic and running around the facility screaming, “Woe is meeee! They asked me a question about Michael Sam today! Whatever will I do??? How do I handle the Media’s questions AND hold my locker room together??? It’s all too much!!”

    Yeah, I get it. Coaches don’t like to have to deal with distractions. You know what else coaches don’t like to have to deal with? Injuries, suspensions, contract hold outs, Short weeks, losing. Yet somehow they manage to persevere. Go figure.

    And for all of you giving Dungy a pat on the back for ‘being honest’ and not bowing to the ‘PC police’, I’d hold back until he clarifies. The term ‘distraction’ sounds suspicously PC to me.

  115. coxandreweric says: Jul 22, 2014 12:40 PM

    I think Tony’s words are clear enough without an addendum. Anyone who reads this unbiased can easily understand that all he means is that if the guy’s ability to make the final squad (of a team loaded with defensive talent) is in question, then all of the accompanying headache is not worth it. There are other players comparable to Sam’s talent, who can be signed without any issues, and if they are cut, there will be no media storm badgering the Rams about what role, if any, Sam’s sexuality played in his dismissal. This has very little to do with sexual orientation; it’s more about logic. As usual, the media is making something out of nothing. Go figure.

  116. eaglesfanalways says: Jul 22, 2014 12:44 PM

    When other people come out to clarify what you mean, it’s never a good sign.

  117. eagles512 says: Jul 22, 2014 12:45 PM

    Why is bring honest so wrong? Oh, because it’s not the PC answer.

  118. cjas9298 says: Jul 22, 2014 1:10 PM

    Well that clears it up. We should offer equal opportunity to the very talented.

  119. futbawl says: Jul 22, 2014 1:13 PM

    theanalyticalkid says:

    The NFL soap opera continues.

    I’m trying to look back and find out at what point the NFL became a referendum on lifestyling and social revolution.

    Alas, apparently gone are the days when football was about football.

    Between the endless reporting on player crimes, political agendas, social agendas, overemphasis on sponsorship that has turned 4-hour games into 4-1/2 hour games, tiffs between owners, tiffs between players, etc.

    I feel like a virtual baby sitter. I’d pay far more than the cost of Sunday Ticket to return to the ’80s NFL.

    *golf clap

  120. fwippel says: Jul 22, 2014 1:25 PM

    Dungy’s analysis is right on, and he doesn’t need to clarify anything. It’s not like Michael Sam was rated the second coming of Lawrence Taylor. No coach in his right mind is going to want the kind of distraction that Sam seems willing to bring to a locker, be it the staged camera scene on draft day, or the reality TV show he was considering.

    Coaches are coaching for their jobs every year. They don’t need to waste time with distractions.

    The hysteria about Dungy’s comments across the mainstream media outlets is a clear demonstration of just how “tolerant” and “diverse” these self-appointed moralists really are.

  121. timbuttrum says: Jul 22, 2014 1:38 PM

    I used to think I couldn’t respect Dungy any more. I was wrong. Stand up guy.

  122. timbuttrum says: Jul 22, 2014 1:40 PM

    “Michael Sam was the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. How does this make him a “marginal prospect?”


    Gino Torretta and Andre Ware won the Heisman. Collegiate awards mean poo in the NFL

  123. smackingfools says: Jul 22, 2014 1:40 PM

    His combine said more about him than his ‘co defensive player or the year’ award.

  124. romosrevenge says: Jul 22, 2014 1:44 PM

    Coaching Hat? Religious beliefs? How about
    (if we’re gonna be honest, which I think Tony would approve) a little bit of both. He’s been outspoken before. But bottom line, I personally value his opinion on all things football because he’s more than qualified to comment. Sadly, the PC Police will now persecute and attempt to ruin the reputation of a very good man.

  125. bigjdve says: Jul 22, 2014 1:52 PM

    For those that want to say that Michael was “SEC DPOY”, what does that mean. Let me list some names to you.

    Andre Ware, Ty Detmer, Gino Toretta, Charlie Ward, Rashaan Salaam, Danny Weurfel, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White, Troy Smith, Matt Leinart, Tim Tebow.

    What is special about those players you might ask. They all won the Heisman and didn’t make it in the NFL, or at least not for long meaningful careers.

    Dungy didn’t say that Sam shouldn’t be allowed to play, only that he would’ve have drafted him. This is important because he never said that he would hire Vick only that he should be allowed to play.

    Time will tell if Sam can make it. Though he hasn’t done himself any favors.

  126. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 22, 2014 2:07 PM

    There are several factors, even if you think you’ve considered them all, that a few dim bulbs fail to take into account. First of all, I have a great deal of respect for Tony Dungy, and my disappointment with his statement doesn’t even come close to persecution. It’s a difference of opinion, I had expected more of him. I’ve heard no one call for his job or any suspension, so to suggest he’s being persecuted is hyperbolic folly. Secondly, few if any have considered, is the reason Sam nearly wasn’t drafted, because of his NFL playing potential or because he had come out. The comments sections of any number of sports sites appear to be rife with unemployed NFL scouts and talent evaluators. My observation is this, Sam detractors are incapable of separating his lifestyle from his ability to play football. Some are quick to point out that no one would be surprised to see a 7th round pick not make a 53 man roster. I would concur with that assessment, however, if you think for a second that an SEC co-defensive player of the year goes in the 7th round to a team stacked with defensive lineman for no other reason than “he’s a marginal player” I got bridges for sale.

  127. august589 says: Jul 22, 2014 2:26 PM

    “Just because of his reputation as a pioneer, outspoken about minority issues. ”

    There is a huge difference in being a racial minority–as Dungy is–with an unchangeable characteristic like skin color and a social minority where you have a behavioral characteristic that is changeable.

  128. micknangold says: Jul 22, 2014 4:57 PM

    “however, if you think for a second that an SEC co-defensive player of the year goes in the 7th round to a team stacked with defensive lineman for no other reason than “he’s a marginal player” I got bridges for sale.”

    Awesome college players from big conferences go undrafted regularly. It’s really not because he’s gay.

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