The team that drafted Michael Sam would need to be prepared to cut Michael Sam. Based on his first preseason experience, Michael Sam believes that won’t be an issue.
“I can play in this league,” Sam told reporters after Friday’s Saints-Rams game. “That’s the most important. I was kind of nervous. I got some nerves out today. It was a very good learning experience, and I can play in this league.”
Sam entered the game with 5:13 remaining in the first quarter. He held his own (and based on the photo was held at least once), but ultimately made only one tackle.
Sam’s ability to make the 53-man roster ultimately will hinge in large part not on what he does during preseason games as a defensive end, but what he can do on special teams. That’s where straight-line speed, which was a disappointment at the Scouting Combine, could make or break him.