Michael Sam Attends First Full Practice With Rams

The first openly gay player kicks off training camp in an attempt to make the St. Louis team.
7:11 | 07/25/14

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Transcript for Michael Sam Attends First Full Practice With Rams
It's not a distraction. Period it's people try to make a distraction but it's not a distraction. And you know where I'm. You personally proud of him for -- -- out. Monster was a very very difficult. For him to do. But. And we're. Also submit that it was probably a tremendous load off his shoulders. St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher they are speaking about his rookie linebacker Michael Sam after drafting him in May. And today salmon the rams have their first full team practice -- between fourteen training camp -- when I'm Devin Dwyer. In Washington Michael Sam of course the NFL's first openly gay player he's also as of today. A seventh round pick trying to make a 53 man roster with more on the journey that begins for him today we're joined now. By the former Tampa Bay Bucs general manager and ESP balanced Mark Dominik mark is so great to have you hear me just. -- first and foremost strictly in football terms. Tell us where Michael sand the rookie linebacker here fits on this roster and does he fit. You know he is a -- -- of the St. Louis Rams have probably the deepest defensive line. Source outside linebacker group in the National Football League so in that way Michael's Sam's got a hard journey ahead of him to make this football team. He's gonna have to really prove his worth on special teams. Know what to do on fourth down in terms of kickoff coverage infill hole on punt team that's going to be a significant chance for him to make this team so. He's got a journey ahead of him he's gonna put the work into it but it's gonna be on its -- -- -- Hargrove for Michael -- -- to actually. Make the rams but I do think he has a chance because. He -- -- he's very aggressive as a player and you could see that he could make an impact on specialties by the way he tackles people in the open field. And and let's talk market a little bit about the dynamics of the beginning of the season here the rams have had a number of mini -- of course organized team activities. So there are no strangers out there on this team -- how does that dynamic change on this day one of a full training camp. But it's a great start because -- what -- trying to figure out what's especially the rookies like I'm Michael Sam and the -- that class is where is there intelligence in terms of the how they handled the playbook the -- -- -- -- and and how much could they regurgitate today when you're in the classroom what -- -- remember. How did they handle you know the offseason conditioning there are gone from their program most of these guys -- gone from month have been kept themselves -- peak shape of the kept themselves in good shape. And then the mental toughness it's a rigor I -- the the training camp as -- long grind and for the rookies it feels like it's Groundhog Day over and over again. And you see the guys that make the silly mistakes like a false star girl holding -- Pass interference those that are guys are losing their mental edge because of such a -- tough time. For them to adjust to the rigors of him without camp so those are the things are really looking for for all the players including Michael -- A rigorous a tough time for sure. And on top of that some controversy already this week over those comments. Made by former boxing colts colts head coach Tony Dungy you know about these you've talked about -- before that let's talk about this. Sense of distractions that's out there here's -- rams coach Jeff Fisher we heard at the beginning in. -- said when he was asked about it on ESPN's Mike and Mike to coach Fisher said let's define distraction. There were a couple extra cameras during the early OTA is there may have been an extra camera yesterday as the rookies reported and when on the field for the first time but no it's not not a distraction. I'd be in their mark. He sees said this has several times at Fisher has that this -- -- to distract -- distraction I mean do you expect this story line go to keep popping up during camp. Actually I do I just don't think it's going to be submit -- he's gonna wanna watch -- Michael -- -- the rams a mean there's one thing to be the first openly gay player to be. Drafted and -- in the national -- there's another -- an openly -- player to make a 53 man roster so it's still significant news and I think that's where. I think that's -- Tony Dungy was talking about that there's always going to be somebody following this story. But Marshall -- -- a distraction Seattle right now -- being holed out you know Tim Tebow was a distraction for the New York Jets. And for the New England Patriots so there's always -- distractions and there's a there's an element of how -- the players. -- how much in media attention it brings is whether it's worth it now I think Michael -- continued to -- all the coverage just because. He's trying to do something that no players ever openly done before. And certainly Tony Dungy is point would seem to have basically been validated here even someone -- are doing that. So much so much -- the attention this has come into play right. -- you're you're right news and I'm sure he feels a little guilty -- -- -- said that now he's. -- created to the distraction by say something about Michael -- I just think that's the thing what so Michael Sam I think there's a lot of people curious to see how this plays out. How does it reform in him what does he do -- -- again it's a hard team to make the St. Louis Rams one of the biggest strengths -- their team has that defense alliance. And you're dressed in the seventh round try to crack that lineup that's going to be a hard thing from to do but if he does it. That -- is really earned it all the right ways. Art markets -- from Michael -- himself he gave you just have a few days ago or week or so ago really moving speech at the espy's Nicholas. Sitting here tonight with a note on all of these legends -- -- all. The -- to spend the rest of my life trying them my best live up to this honor. From the best football but I can't. And finally. -- anyone out there especially young people. They don't -- -- like that don't fit and that would never be accepted. Please note this. Great pains. Think so. Great things can happen. You have the curse of the yourself thank you -- doubtless. Market and one of the things that struck us listening to that couple weeks ago way he really sounds like a team captain there of course. He was at Missouri but. How much can this personality. -- really carry him going forward here. I think it's significant you think about the press conference -- just -- after Tony Dungy comments. And I had a good time with the -- -- thank goodness knows Tony Dungy wasn't the head coach of the St. Louis Rams. But tells me -- this he's very trained in his media he's very good in front of the camera. He's got a great personality -- things are really positive things you like to avenue football players on a football team so. I think those things are gonna carry a long way to give a lot of opportunity and I think when you know that a player can handle the media. Michael Sam himself is -- a distraction it's it's their questions are coming around him so he's very polished and very good as a young man and be able speak publicly and do all the things. You really want everyone to your work -- to be able to do. It's going to be a test every single day and as you mentioned we're just at the beginning here. Can't season -- ESPN's mark Dominick thank you so much mark for being here and four. Chatting -- -- about Michael -- you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news happens storing this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Devin Dwyer -- Washington think so much for watching.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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