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Michael Sam pragmatic about Dungy comments

Sam AP

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.

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45 Responses to “Michael Sam pragmatic about Dungy comments”
  1. beckzhere says: Jul 23, 2014 6:48 AM

    I’m interested to hear how his OTA’s went. I’d dare even say that I’m rooting for the kid.

  2. dabears2485 says: Jul 23, 2014 7:00 AM

    He dropped 13 lbs? He was small before. It’s his lack if strength that would scare me off . His bench reps were putrid for a defensive lineman. It he gets smaller, how does that help?

  3. jimjets says: Jul 23, 2014 7:10 AM

    Everyone with a soul is rooting for this kid

  4. jimjets says: Jul 23, 2014 7:11 AM

    Don’t forget Dungy is a holy roller – he thinks being gay is “wrong ” or a “choice”

  5. haaaaasoooooo says: Jul 23, 2014 7:12 AM

    The rams are in a tough spot. IF they cut him, the media (and Chris Kluwe) will say it’s because of his sexual orientation. If they keep him (and he hasn’t earned a roster spot) to avoid the media circus of cutting him, then they are hurting the team, and the guy who’s spot he’s taking. That’s what you call a lose-lose situation.
    Whatever happened to just being a “football player?”

  6. zappa69 says: Jul 23, 2014 7:15 AM

    Would u draft the first openly gay player to your team knowing at the time Oprah was planning a reality show about him?

  7. oriolesvsravens says: Jul 23, 2014 7:21 AM

    I hope he makes it. I will draft him my fantasy league. My team does not need all the distractions.

  8. hugeredskinsfan says: Jul 23, 2014 7:26 AM

    I hope for his sake, the media will stop including a line that he is gay in EVERY article they write about him. His identity should be a football player, not a gay football player.

  9. computojon says: Jul 23, 2014 7:28 AM

    It’s good to read about how Michael Sam is progressing, but I’m more eager to know how Greg Robinson and Aaron Donald are progressing.

  10. nostalgicsound says: Jul 23, 2014 7:29 AM

    Dungy has valid points and shouldn’t be chastised for having an opinion. Sam is doing the right thing in saying what he said, he just needs to keep his talking to the media at a bare minimum and let his play do the talking for him.

  11. jafo1265 says: Jul 23, 2014 7:32 AM

    Right state of mind for a 7 round draft choice that may need a couple years on the practice squad to make a 53 man roster. Let’s start playing football already…

  12. rrhoe says: Jul 23, 2014 7:32 AM

    Maybe if the media would stop referring to him as “the first openly gay player” that would ease some of the perceptions regarding him. Him being called a seventh round pick works for me.

  13. fballguy says: Jul 23, 2014 7:47 AM

    Heading out to St. Louis on August 14th. Can’t wait to see this team in action.

  14. 6ball says: Jul 23, 2014 7:55 AM

    .
    2014 Draft Recap

    The Browns took Johnny Manziel. The Rams took Michael Sam.

    Some other teams may have taken some other guys, although sources tell us that the report is unconfirmed at this time.
    .

  15. fground says: Jul 23, 2014 7:56 AM

    I bet the Rams end up putting him on their practice squad. Just a hunch.

  16. truthfactory says: Jul 23, 2014 7:57 AM

    The fact that there is a firestorm for Dungys simple logical reasonable opinion only proves his point. It’s too big of a distraction than what its worth.

    The fact is that Dungy didnt say anything that 31 other GM’s that day didnt already do! 31 other GM’s also thought his talents weren’t worth the distraction he would have caused and they continually passed on him. Tony Dungy’s comments line up 100% with 31 other GM’s. No one is bashing those other 31 GM’s because it was a reasonable and logical approach in evaluating a guy who had a terrible combine. Another example of the liberal media and the “gotcha police” that have gone insane!

  17. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 23, 2014 8:00 AM

    Hey Dungy when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

  18. jpiro says: Jul 23, 2014 8:02 AM

    If he has a chance to succeed as a player, I’m not sure being in the Rams’ 4-3 defense is the best option, particularly if he’s cutting weight.

    As a 3-4 LB he could play a hybrid role that lets him rush the passer (his primary skill) without directly taking on OT’s, which he’s going to have a very hard time doing at his size.

  19. nullaereale says: Jul 23, 2014 8:13 AM

    He dropped 13 lbs? He was small before. It’s his lack if strength that would scare me off . His bench reps were putrid for a defensive lineman. It he gets smaller, how does that help?
    __________________________________
    Like the article aluded to he’s dropping the pounds to “increase his speed so that he’ll be able to contribute on special teams.” I think Sam realizes the number’s crunch at DE on the Rams and that ST’s is his best chance of making the team.

  20. lestforce says: Jul 23, 2014 8:14 AM

    If Dungy had said “I wouldn’t have drafted Johnny Manziel. He deserves a chance in this league, but I wouldn’t want to have to deal with the distraction that he brings,” no one would be giving him a hard time. Whether Sam intends on bringing this distraction to the field ( I personally think the OWN documentary shows that he does), it’s a fact that he has brought a ton of unnecessary media attention.

  21. thetruthcampaign says: Jul 23, 2014 8:17 AM

    Dungy’s smart. Obviously, if Dungy thought he was saying something controversial, he wouldn’t have thought to say it. People are making this out to be about gay, because Dungy is Christian. It ain’t.

    Sam hopes this all goes away (media), because if it doesn’t, Dungy will be proven right in that it’ll be a distraction for the Rams. Sam doesn’t want this, because no team will want him if it continues.

  22. whatjusthapped says: Jul 23, 2014 8:23 AM

    Let’s face a couple of facts, drafting isn’t a science and some (even #1 overall) don’t work out. So the prospects of any 7th rounder are iffy at best.

    The other fact is that the Rams are screwed if Sam isn’t one of the best 53 players on their roster. They can’t cut him because the PC police will be out in force. So essentially, the Rams will go into the season a man down on their roster and just have to live with that as a consequence of being lauded open minded enough to draft Sam.

  23. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:23 AM

    How about this SHOCKING sentiment-

    I am rooting for Sam, AND there is nothing whatsoever wrong with what Dungy said he would personally do when asked what he would personally do. #OMGface! #toleranceisatwowaystreet,hippy-o-crites

  24. crenshawpete714 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:24 AM

    First he tells reporters at the combine that he can’t wait to be asked questions about football and not about his sexuality, now he brushes off Tony Dungy’s comments and says that Tony’s entitled to his own opinion (something that NO ONE in the media seems to recognize). It’s a damn shame that the media are botching this because Michael Sam seems like a great kid.

  25. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:25 AM

    Sam’s was response is perfect and professional. But so was Dungy’s honest answer to the question posed to him. Sam will get more points, but that is more a reflection of society’s selective tolerance policy than it is a reflection of either of these men’s character.

  26. rutchaser says: Jul 23, 2014 8:30 AM

    These coach’s jobs are on the line very year, I would avoid any potential media distraction too.

  27. oaklegend says: Jul 23, 2014 8:32 AM

    On an NFL level, my only problem with Michael Sam is that he came into the league making way too much of himself and his story, and then going along with the media as they inflate him. Rookie mistakes… patience is in order… but the kid needs to do what he’s doing right now; zip his lip, try to make the roster and THEN try to make the St. Louis Rams a winner.

  28. cardinalsfan87 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:40 AM

    I can’t wait for him to get cut so we can stop hearing about what a ‘hero’ he is because he’s gay. It’s amazing how screwed up our society Is celebrating being gay.

  29. ace8842 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:42 AM

    I will never root for the kid after he was stupid enough to even contemplate doing a show on what it was like to be gay in the NFL. That fact that he even entertained that offer was absurd and shows me he is more here to make a statement than to play football.

  30. fleaman1381 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:49 AM

    I have no problem with someone being gay. And I have no problem with Dungy’s comments. Is Sam a distraction? I can’t really answer that as I don’t work with him, but I can see how it would be a distraction. You just have to look at the abilities and ask yourself if the player is good enough to outweigh the distractions.

  31. indytom87 says: Jul 23, 2014 8:51 AM

    Dungy said what 31 other teams privately believe.

  32. b3nz0z says: Jul 23, 2014 8:52 AM

    i hope he succeeds

  33. whenwilliteverend says: Jul 23, 2014 9:02 AM

    I feel sorry for Dungy. You’ll never get a more honest guy and he was just saying what he believed. As some of you have mentioned here, his words have been proven by some of the actions surrounding the situation (Oprah show, mentioned GAY every time instead of just FOOTBALL PLAYER!, et. al.). I don’t really care if he’s gay or not but bringing it up like it’s part of his name proves Dungy’s point. There have been other players who were proven commodities that were released because they weren’t worth all the distractions (Keyshawn Johnson, T.O.) so why go through all this for a 7th round pick? It’s a risk-reward thing. The problem is that in our society anytime anyone says anything, someone is offended and will dissect everything and paint it in such a way as to make the speaker look like a bigot/racist or whatever.

    Frankly, I don’t care. The only people who should care are his teammates and his team. I just wish the media would leave it alone and let him be a football player. They constantly bring it up but if someone else refers to him as a gay football player they are villified. #SMH

  34. jchipwood says: Jul 23, 2014 9:10 AM

    Fisher I would guess was either forced to draft him or is kissing Goodells butt. Why would you draft a defensive end when you have 4 solids already. Doesnt make sense.

  35. abninf says: Jul 23, 2014 9:10 AM

    It seems almost every coach in the league agreed with Dungy.

  36. cowboyhater says: Jul 23, 2014 9:12 AM

    I completely respect Dungy for giving an honest opinion, and everyone is entitled to one so lets not blast him for his comments. Sam handled the question as well as any player could…but to continue to put the “gay” tag every time we mention him is doing a disservice to everyone. He is a football player who was a 7th round draft choice, and should be evaluated in that manner by the Rams. If he is good enough to make the roster good for him, if not….oh well, it was worth taking a shot at him in the 7th round.

  37. williamspeaks says: Jul 23, 2014 9:14 AM

    This kid should be discussed no more than the straight ones on the team. Embarrassing how the media pedistalize gays and paint people who believe marriage is between a man and woman as evil. He’s no hero, just another football player whose has borderline NFL talent.

  38. harveyredman says: Jul 23, 2014 9:48 AM

    So Dungy makes a comment, expressing his own opinion without making any derogatory judgements against Sam, and then Sam says Dungy is entitled to his opinion, like everyone else and takes no perceivable offense to the comments.

    So, what is the issue here? Oh, that’s right – the media. A media created distraction, for their own benefit without concern for the player or possible detriment to his opportunity to make this team.

    Somewhere Tim Tebow is shaking his head at all this….

  39. themarkus42 says: Jul 23, 2014 9:49 AM

    Will Sam be a distraction? Absolutely. So was Jackie Robinson and others who broke barriers. Now Sam is no Jackie but he is still the first openly gay player to get drafted. Dungy has a valid point, but we need to get past the whole distraction thing as an excuse not to make positive changes and allowing openly gay players into team sports is a positive change. Root for Sam because it is a positive change and because he has overcome a heck of a lot more than being gay and except for the Oprah thing he has gone about things properly. Don’t vilify Dungy, but do challenge him.

  40. archersofmtdoom says: Jul 23, 2014 10:20 AM

    Who cares what the media says if he’s cut? It’s pretty clear to all of those with football knowledge that if he’s cut, it’s because he’s not so great at his position on a team that has great depth at said position. It won’t be Sam or the Rams fault if he’s cut & people only focus on his orientation as the reason, that’s what the media does. Sick of this whole “he’s a distraction because if he’s cut there will be an uproar” argument, it’s invalid.

  41. oriolesvsravens says: Jul 23, 2014 10:27 AM

    My previous comment was a joke folks. Every team has media distractions. The media is a distraction in itself.

  42. laserw says: Jul 23, 2014 10:38 AM

    I’m gay and I find Michael Sam to be a disgusting player. He u sed his sexuality to essentially be gay for play – to profit off a quality that is personal – that is no one’s business but his. He in essence became gay for profit.

    Having gay players is not new in the NFL – there is no reason to disclose your orientation – once you leave and have no ability to profit off your gayness, then it is okay – but being a distraction to a TEAM is repugnant.

  43. mediasloppy says: Jul 23, 2014 2:22 PM

    The guy gives the media a two or three sentence answer after a question is forced upon him and gets hounded by haters. He’ll make the team or not. Jeff Fisher is no media push over and he proved that directly after the draft by saying directly, they used a compensatory pick on him instead of a real pick. He also stated he has no problem cutting the guy if he doesn’t work out.

  44. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 23, 2014 3:39 PM

    Not sure if a response of “Thank God he wasn’t a Rams coach” qualifies as pragmatic.

    It will likely only serve to fuel this thing farther which of course the story seeking media will adore.

  45. 4ever9er says: Jul 24, 2014 3:15 PM

    @truthfactory says: Jul 23, 2014 7:57 AM

    Another example of the liberal media and the “gotcha police” that have gone insane!
    —————————————————-
    Please don’t put politics into this.
    I’m a Liberal and I agree with Dungy and You!!!

    The reality is that the media will sensationalize or create some type of controversy with any issue as long as it sells air time or news papers.

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