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Jeff Fisher: Hard Knocks-Michael Sam story is “absolutely absurd”

samfisher AP

Rams coach Jeff Fisher is scoffing at a report that he drafted Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, two years ago in a quid pro quo with the NFL to keep his team off Hard Knocks.

Asked about the report this morning on Mike & Mike, Fisher said there was never any such discussion with the NFL, and the Rams selected Sam solely because he was the highest-ranked player on their draft board at the time the pick came up.

“That in itself is absolutely absurd, it’s 100 percent incorrect,” Fisher said. “I was really taken aback by those comments. It’s insulting, from my standpoint, as it relates to Michael. We had three seventh-round picks. When we drafted Michael he was the best player on the board. Who in their right mind would think that you give up a draft choice to avoid doing something like that?”

Fisher said he thinks Sam has been subjected to unfair scrutiny that most seventh-round picks fighting for a roster spot don’t have to face.

“It’s really unfair to Michael. Michael worked so hard,” Fisher said. “It’s really not fair to Michael because of all the hard work he put in.”

The Rams have agreed to do Hard Knocks this year as they move to Los Angeles, and Fisher said he’s looking forward to it.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for our franchise,” Fisher said. “This is a historic move. The moves in the past have not been documented and I think it’s a great opportunity.”

If the Rams want a lot of attention for this year’s Hard Knocks, perhaps they should re-sign Sam.

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54 Responses to “Jeff Fisher: Hard Knocks-Michael Sam story is “absolutely absurd””
  1. patsxsaintsfan says: Mar 24, 2016 9:46 AM

    Well if Micheal was the best player on the board why did you pick up an undrafted guy at the same position and end up keeping him? Almost like Sam wasn’t your best player and the story makes perfect sense. I’m not saying I believe the story I’m just saying I don’t believe anyone who affiliates with the NFL

  2. kcchefs58 says: Mar 24, 2016 9:48 AM

    The only thing absurd is the fact that Fischer is highly regarded as a head coach even though he continues to have losing seasons.

  3. rajbais says: Mar 24, 2016 9:50 AM

    No, you drafting him was because you gave an undrafted free agent more guaranteed money than him and made Sam’s selection all about your image.

  4. ch0rn says: Mar 24, 2016 9:51 AM

    It is absolutely absurd, just not for the reasons Jeff Fisher is saying.

  5. pats are better than your team says: Mar 24, 2016 9:53 AM

    I’m still waiting for the conspiracy to keep him employed to be revealed. Somehow, his credibility here is a little thin.

  6. seabrawk12 says: Mar 24, 2016 9:57 AM

    8-8 coming right up.

  7. jssebastian2014 says: Mar 24, 2016 9:57 AM

    The best thing about the Sam signing was that – even to this day – it has highlighted what a bunch of closet cases the NFL is made up of.

  8. niners816 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:00 AM

    Michael Sam was just a publicity stunt. He was more interested in fame and wanting everyone to know that you should feel sorry for him, and he was a leader because he sleeps with men. He stunk as an NFL player, and is nothing more than a quitter. And before the defenders come in and say: “He was good in college, NFL teams just didn’t want the distraction.” Sam was the one who brought the attention on himself. Nobody cares who you sleep with. If you’re a good football player, that’s all they care about, and he wasn’t a good NFL player. He quit. He took his ball and went home.

  9. danm1978 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:00 AM

    Wow. He means he was the highest ranked player on the Rams draft board. Sam didn’t do enough in preseason so they cut him. It’s that simple.

  10. fwippel says: Mar 24, 2016 10:02 AM

    Yeah, and Gregg Williams doesn’t encourage dirty play, either.

  11. collectordude says: Mar 24, 2016 10:03 AM

    Hard Knocks should be cancelled. Boring show.

  12. bernieknowsfootball says: Mar 24, 2016 10:04 AM

    None of this would have happened if Sam kept his mouth closed (you can’t tell me that he’s the first Gay player that has played the game !!!)

  13. teal379 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:05 AM

    If it wasn’t for the publicity – the picture says it all.

    How many other 7th rounders get a presser with the HC?

    Particularly 7th rounders that don’t even end up making the team? Not like he was a 7th rounder that turned into JJ Watt and now you’re talking to the press.

  14. monsterscream says: Mar 24, 2016 10:05 AM

    “It’s really unfair to Michael. Michael worked so hard,” Fisher said.

    Maybe that was the problem?

  15. ( . Y . ) says: Mar 24, 2016 10:09 AM

    It is less absurd than making up a ball deflation scandal, but we know that happened

  16. HankTheDog says: Mar 24, 2016 10:11 AM

    It’s bad enough the Rams used the city of St. Louis for 20 years to get the package deal they wanted in LA. Now they are trashing a report from a long time, respected St. Louis based reporter.

  17. clevelandrocksyourface says: Mar 24, 2016 10:12 AM

    Another day, another article with Jeff Fisher crying about something.

  18. atwaterslaughter says: Mar 24, 2016 10:13 AM

    If Sam was still on the team the could have named the show Hard….sorry, that was bad.

  19. klutch14u says: Mar 24, 2016 10:14 AM

    He’s an active NFL coach still coaching the same team. They might as well call and ask OJ if he really did do it.

  20. dmretrogames says: Mar 24, 2016 10:18 AM

    What is really absuyrd is that Coach 7-9 still has a job.

  21. wtfwtfomgwtf says: Mar 24, 2016 10:24 AM

    “Well if Micheal was the best player on the board why did you pick up an undrafted guy at the same position and end up keeping him? Almost like Sam wasn’t your best player and the story makes perfect sense. I’m not saying I believe the story I’m just saying I don’t believe anyone who affiliates with the NFL”

    ———————————–

    You understand that evaluation / big board theory and practical reality of how a player performs on practice field and in preseason don’t line up? It is neither abnormal or hard to understand why a 7th round pick is cut and udfa stays.

  22. krm62015 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:26 AM

    Fischer must have some good scoop on people higher up int he NFL circles. This guy keeps his job, while wheeling and dealing for stuff. Like the China home game, I wonder what they are giving the Rams for that. Then the dude is somehow front and center in the coaches picture at the meetings in Florida this week. Yet he is the coach of mediocre teams that are the biggest cheap shot artists in the game.

  23. peytonwantsaflag says: Mar 24, 2016 10:27 AM

    yeah that make sense – you don’t want a lot of attention by being on Hardknocks so you draft the first openly gay player in the NFL.

    this is speculative horse crap – didn’t happen.

  24. beavertonsteve says: Mar 24, 2016 10:28 AM

    Well if Micheal was the best player on the board why did you pick up an undrafted guy at the same position and end up keeping him?
    ———
    I’m guessing you don’t pay much attention to the NFL if you’ve never seen an UDFA beat out a 7th round pick.

  25. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:30 AM

    “Well if Micheal was the best player on the board why did you pick up an undrafted guy at the same position and end up keeping him?”

    Because predraft rankings often prove to be wrong.

    And because numerous undrafted FAs turn out to be very good players. Often far better than expected.

  26. nflgtcfl says: Mar 24, 2016 10:39 AM

    Could go either way.

    I was a 7th rounder, and it seems teams aren’t too worried about their value (Yes Brady went in the 6th, but how often does that happen?).

    Sam did have a lot of stats, but was a tweener. So, taking a 7th rounder based on stats is not ridiculous.

    But even if the NFL did not make the deal, it is hard to believe that getting free publicity for the Rams had NOTHING to do with it. As people mentioned how many 7th rounders get press conferences etc…

  27. PFT loves the Steelers says: Mar 24, 2016 10:47 AM

    Yay. More outrage being pushed by the (clearly) left wing media. Even if the NFL did have a secret deal with the Rams, the reason they did it was so the left wing media wouldn’t be “outraged” when their boy Michael Sam went undrafted. One way or another, the media wants blood over Michael Sam not being a (gay) NFL super star. Lets face it, if Sam were JJ Watt, he’d be in the NFL. Instead, Sam is not an NFL level talent. What he is, is the most talked about 7th round pick in sports history. Why is that?

  28. jimmyt says: Mar 24, 2016 10:49 AM

    Yeah, the Rams would never lie about anything.

  29. imodan says: Mar 24, 2016 10:51 AM

    Like say, punishing teams for salary cap violations in a season without a salary cap? Making up double punishments when the league is embarrassed by video they had the audacity to claim they never saw? Being absolutely schooled by Tagliabue in the bounty scandal? Whacking one team for a violation while letting a repeat offender off for a mere $100,000? Oh, and framing the leagues best QB with false information planted to the media and then going on to simply make stuff up or lie about what was said in an appeal hearing to benefit their case? Just to top that off by making even more lies before a federal circuit court of appeals? Holy smokes people, what more proof do you need? These people are dishonest crooks and someone, somewhere needs to do a serious criminal investigation of the goings on at the league office and the corrupted ownership.

  30. brettfavreisapacker4ever says: Mar 24, 2016 10:52 AM

    Who really gives a a damn !
    I thought I was going to read a real story here but what I’m getting is worse than the kr-p in the National Enquirer.
    The guy made his own situation. He wanted the publicity by coming out and he got it. It still makes me sick watching espn when he got drafted and they showed he and his lover smootching – Ughhhhh !

  31. monarch76 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:52 AM

    What is absurd is that anyone cares about a guy that can’t make a team. Just go away already.

  32. In Teddy We Trust says: Mar 24, 2016 10:53 AM

    I’m not sure how the scrutiny is unfair to Sam, since he brought it all on himself and seemed to revel in it.

  33. skittlesareyum says: Mar 24, 2016 10:56 AM

    niners816 says:
    Mar 24, 2016 10:00 AM
    Michael Sam was just a publicity stunt. He was more interested in fame and wanting everyone to know that you should feel sorry for him, and he was a leader because he sleeps with men. He stunk as an NFL player, and is nothing more than a quitter. And before the defenders come in and say: “He was good in college, NFL teams just didn’t want the distraction.” Sam was the one who brought the attention on himself. Nobody cares who you sleep with. If you’re a good football player, that’s all they care about, and he wasn’t a good NFL player. He quit. He took his ball and went home.

    —————

    I agree with what you said, except for no one caring who you sleep with. Move to the deep south and see if that’s true.

  34. mburkett1980 says: Mar 24, 2016 10:56 AM

    only Sam WASN’T the highest rated player available on their board. It has already been documented that the Rams staff was surprised by the pick.

  35. ipdaily69 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:09 AM

    I suspect the NFL has a similar deal in place with the Rams to keep Jeff Fisher installed as head coach. Fisher has not had a winning season in 6 years yet he miraculously survives in a league that plays revolving coaches year in year out. It is no surprise Fisher is now the point man defending the NFL, a league with no qualms manufacturing desired outcomes…..with their hand picked investigations (Brady yes / Manning no), Park Avenue centralized command center for officiating, and now behind the scenes draft manipulation.
    FIFA has nothing on Goodell and his henchmen.

  36. ipdaily69 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:11 AM

    Let’s just call it what it is….
    The NFL is FIFA North America

  37. nhpats says: Mar 24, 2016 11:12 AM

    How is this guy still a head coach? He is aspiring to be mediocre.

  38. edukator4 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:14 AM

    such a hard worker that he quit the minor leagues (CFL) and hasnt even bothered to get back into football with the exception of saying he wants to play in the NFL

  39. suggsbradycrowder says: Mar 24, 2016 11:34 AM

    the RAMS, HARD knocks,… These jokes write themselves

  40. steamingpilerex says: Mar 24, 2016 11:37 AM

    Absurd : Fisher as a Head Coach – Kroenke : As an Owner – Sam: As a player

  41. psubeerman21 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:39 AM

    Would it be that absurd to believe the NFL wanted sam drafted, to either avoid bad publicity or generate good publicity? And it just so happened the team closest to his college took him? I am in no way a conspiracy theorist, but with the NFL and who is running the league, anything is possible

  42. TheDPR says: Mar 24, 2016 11:45 AM

    When is the league NOT engaging in unethical shenanigans under this administration? #integrity

  43. THX 138 says: Mar 24, 2016 11:52 AM

    Fisher has no credibility, just like the NFL.

  44. whispersd says: Mar 24, 2016 12:52 PM

    Doesn’t really make sense that the Rams would waste a draft pick solely to avoid being on Hard Knocks. Makes less sense when combined with the accusation that the Rams only drafted Sam as a publicity stunt.

  45. itsfootballbaby says: Mar 24, 2016 1:18 PM

    Jeff Fisher…… terrible coach…..bad liar.

  46. battmanri says: Mar 24, 2016 1:34 PM

    The only thing “absurd” about this story…..is Jeff Fisher.

  47. daringhart13 says: Mar 24, 2016 2:11 PM

    Ram’s fan since 1977 here….

    Ummmm, the Ram’s have a long glorious history of lying. Terrible leadership, terrible organization.

    The NFL has become the WWF…. it’s so filled with crooks and lies….. remember when it was about football?

  48. sactogary says: Mar 24, 2016 2:27 PM

    The Fish doth protest too much, methinks.

  49. FinFan68 says: Mar 24, 2016 2:57 PM

    It may not have been a deal to avoid hard knocks but it almost certainly was done to avoid the PR backlash for the percperceived blackballing of an openly gay player. That guy was not very good and was likely voted the SEC co-dpoy BECAUSE he came out in college. The hoopla after the season and before the draft was a national publicity stunt. He knew he couldn’t get drafted on talent so he tried to get the media to shame the NFL into drafting him. It worked but his lack of talent ensured his quick exit.

  50. judsonjr says: Mar 24, 2016 3:04 PM

    So would Jeff Fisher even have a job if not for the Music City Miracle?

    Think about it, 5-6 career playoff record. 3 of those wins came the season where they needed a miracle play to get a home wild card win over NFL Legend Rob Johnson making his second start of the season for the Bills.

    21 seasons, 2 playoff wins outside of the 1999 season.

  51. fngs1 says: Mar 24, 2016 3:13 PM

    I really don’t get how Fisher keeps his job.

  52. coke4mauk says: Mar 24, 2016 5:25 PM

    If you see a Rams official with their mouth open and words coming out, there’s a 99% chance it’s a lie.

  53. boltergeist19 says: Mar 25, 2016 9:48 AM

    I bet it is asked over and over though when the show airs. Maybe they should bring him back for a tryout during preseason to show this was not about him 2 years ago and that he has shown some growth as a player and that’s the reason he is with the team.

  54. 1historian says: Mar 25, 2016 1:11 PM

    The whole thing does make sense.

    1) Sam has come out, ergo he becomes a political symbol

    2) He’s obviously not good enough to make it in the NFL but if he is not drafted by SOMEBODY then the NFL is accused of some thought crime, and the NFL is nothing if it is not sensitive, caring, politically correct, yada yada yada.

    So

    (Sensitive, caring) pressure is applied when round 7 comes around and some bozo team drafts him, Sam is overjoyed, gives his boyfriend a nice kiss and everybody goes home happy.

    Simple as that.

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