Highlights from Michael Sam's first press conference after being drafted by the St. Louis Rams:
"If someone disowns you, be a part of my family. Ram Up" - @MichaelSamNFL— Cameron Weiss (@camRONweiss) May 13, 2014
Michael Sam says new teammates approached him and welcomed him to the team. He didn't have to approach them.
Michael Sam on hearing gay slurs on the field: When you see me, I'm determined to be great. I'm determined to make this team. I have every confidence that I'll make this team. When I do that, and when I put those pads on, if they want to say something to me, you'll see No. 96 running down the field and making plays.
Michael Sam says he has not spoken with his father.
Michael Sam: "I understand that right now you guys want to make a big deal out of it, but as soon as that's over [I can focus on football] as fast as possible."
Jeff Fisher: Team did a private interview with Michael Sam at the Combine. The Rams didn't have a big need for defensive end, but they did want to keep an eye on pass rushers. Michael's value as a football player was "off the charts" for a seventh round pick.
6pmET: Michael Sam has taken the podium with Jeff Fisher and Les Snead.
NFL Network: Michael Sam won't be speaking with the media again for weeks.
EJ Gaines says it wasn't hard to keep the "secret" that Michael Sam was gay at Mizzou. Sam: "It wasn't a secret, by the way."
Q: What is greatness?
Sam: Just want to be good at what we do. Now we have the opportunity to play the game of football at the highest level. That passion is going to help us to do that.
Q: Will training camp be extra hard due to the scrutiny:
Sam: Not at all. I'm determined to be great. I'm going to train hard and try to make the team.
The St. Louis Rams will introduce Michael Sam to the public and the media at a press conference today at 5:30pmET. You can watch the press conference live above. Sam is the first openly gay player selected in the NFL Draft and will be the first openly gay player in NFL history.
The interest in the press conference is through the roof. NFL Network reports that 100 media credentials have been issued. Similar press conferences in the past have seen only 15 credentials, according to NFL Network.
The Rams will introduce all of their 11 draftees (of which Sam was the 10th) at the presser. It starts at 4:30pmET with first-round picks OL Greg Robinson and DT Aaron Donald. There is a special "additional availability" for Sam at 6pmET. He's the only draftee who has a slot all to himself, which is understandable given the incredible response to his story and the fact that he has been virtually unavailable to the media for the last year.
Hopefully his teammates understand the need for additional attention to Sam from time to time and won't let that lead to negative feelings toward him. No doubt some of the questions they receive will be about their new teammate Sam. Hopefully the team organization has addressed it with all the players.
You can watch the post-draft press conference with head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead here.
Come back today at 5:30pmET to watch the press conference and chat with other #SamFans.