Following the comments of former NFL head coach Tony Dungy, the discussion on whether St. Louis Rams rookie Michael Sam is a distraction to the team has once again been renewed. Oh, goody. Thankfully, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher—who, y'know, would have a pretty good idea if Sam was becoming a distraction to the team—weighed in on the topic today during an interview with ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning. Asked whether Sam has been a distraction for the team, Fisher replied:
Absolutely not. Let’s define distraction. There were a couple of extra cameras during early OTAs. There may have been an extra camera yesterday as rookies reported and went on the field the first time. Mike’s a very passionate athlete. He’s very focused on trying to make this football team ... He worked really hard during the summer, and he’s doing a good job.
Fisher isn't holding a grudge against Tony Dungy for the comments he made either:
I’m gonna assume some that maybe things were taken out of context. But everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. Coaches are going to have differences of opinion during the draft ... I’m not concerned. Tony’s entitled to his opinion as everybody is and so are and right now we think we have a pretty good thing going.
Now that Fisher has entered the discussion, we can officially end the argument until further notice from Fisher. Remember: Michael Sam is only a distraction so long as people continue to ask or comment on whether he's a distraction. The more outsiders of the team discuss the storyline, the more it becomes a lazy, self-perpetuating cycle. Thankfully, Fisher wasn't willing to buy into it. The coach has spoken, and the matter is closed.
Michael Sam may end up making the St. Louis Rams' roster, but if he doesn't, the decision won't be made on the basis that he's preventing the team from reaching its full potential. More likely, a cut would have something to do with the fact that the Rams currently have six other defensive ends on their roster besides Sam. Regardless, the skills that Sam is acquiring from his time with the Rams are invaluable. Fisher has coached star defensive talents like Jevon Kearse and (when he was still motivated) Albert Haynesworth. Whatever Sam is learning in training camp right now will likely help him secure a spot with another team in the future, should the Rams decide to part ways with him.
[via Pro Football Talk]