Former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy has said that he wouldn’t draft defensive end Michael Sam. On Tuesday, Sam addressed the situation in a very pragmatic way.
“Thank God he wasn’t a St. Louis Rams coach,” Sam told reporters on Tuesday. “But I have great respect for Tony Dungy. Like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions,” Sam said.
Dungy will join The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday to discuss his remarks in further detail, supplementing Tuesday’s statement explaining his remarks to Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune. Also on the show will be the St. Louis Rams coach who welcomed the distractions that go with having an openly-gay player on the roster bubble and who may eventually conclude Sam hasn’t earned a roster spot, Jeff Fisher.
Sam already has shown he’s serious about getting one of the 53 jobs, dropping 13 pounds since the end of the offseason program in an effort to increase his speed so that he’ll be able to contribute on special teams.
“My job is to make this team, that’s my number one priority,” Sam said. ”Everything is faster and you want to make sure you are at a good weight and at good speed to compete at this level. It’s not college anymore, that’s child’s play compared to this.”
And “this” includes a high level of intensity both on the field and off the field. Especially as he continues his journey as the first openly-gay NFL player.