Rams see business as usual after Sam pick

Mon May 12, 2014 11:07am EDT
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(Reuters) - The St Louis Rams plan on business as usual at this summer's training camp, but are making allowances on Tuesday when they introduce their draft picks, including Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted.

Rams general manager Les Snead expects a media crush and intense interest in University of Missouri defensive end Sam, arguably the highest profile seventh-round pick of an NFL Draft.

Following Thursday's opening round and the second and third rounds held on Friday, St. Louis used the 249th pick of the 256-man draft to take Sam on Saturday.

"We spent yesterday talking about that," Snead told ESPN Radio on Monday. "We’re going to have our rookies in for a press conference tomorrow. We're going to divide those guys up, Thursday night guys, Friday night guys and then Saturday guys.

"We definitely got to be aware that Michael Sam and the social impact of the pick needs a special place. We'll prepare for that. We'll handle it, but at the end of the day we want this to become as normal for everybody as possible."

Snead stressed that the choice of Sam and his prospects of making the team and becoming the first openly gay player in the National Football League depended on his evaluation as a player.

"When we talked about Michael Sam in our first meetings in December, in our draft meetings in April, we talked about him as a football player. We put him on the board as a football player, said Snead.

"We were aware of the magnitude of the decision. We knew it would be a pivot in history, and we knew the decision at that time was going to be bigger than football. But at the end of the day that was a football decision.

"We felt any time you can get a guy who can rush the passer... all that does is continue to help keep one of our strongest assets strong."   Continued...

University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam runs through drills during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana February 24, 2014.    REUTERS/Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports