St. Louis Rams Coach Jeff Fisher Backs Michael Sam Amid Distraction Controversy
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | July 25, 2014 9:27 AM EST
Who better to declare the state of the team but the head mentor himself?
St. Louis Rams' head coach Jeff Fisher declared that Michael Sam has "absolutely not" made a distraction for the team in light of the latest controversy stemming from the comments made of NBC Analyst Tony Dungy that the first openly gay player would not make his roster if he was still a coach in the league.
During an interview with "Mike & Mike," Fisher was asked to give his two cents on the comments of Dungy and the over-all effect of the new player in the team. He described Sam as passionate athlete and someone who is dedicated to make the cut of his football team. The Rams coach was adamant that he is keen on giving everyone on the team including Sam equal opportunity to make the cut.
"Let's define distraction. There were a couple extra cameras during the early OTAs, there may have been an extra camera yesterday as the rookies reported and went on the field for the first time, but no, it's not," Fisher said Wednesday as per ESPN.com.
Micahel Sam for his part just brushed off Dungy's critical comments when media pressed him to respond on the controversy. He was jovial in saying that thankfully Dungy is not the current coach or he would be toast, though on a serious note, he expressed his respect for Dangy and hig inherent right to voice his views.
"Thank God he wasn't the St. Louis Rams coach," Sam said. "I have a lot of respect for Coach Dungy, and like everyone in America, everyone is entitled to their own opinions."
Fisher is also ensuring that there is no special treatment of anybody during the duration of the training camp regardless of what situation they are in. He was appreciative of the way his ward responded to the barrage of media queries on the controversy citing that what Sam said to the media was heartfelt and honest. However he was candid in expressing that with 14 potential defensive linemen on the roster, he would have to earn his keep to make the final cut.
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