Sam shines in preseason finale
Sam faces several scenarios as the Rams decide whether to keep him. Decision day is Saturday.
Michael Sam called tonight's last preseason game his final exam.
Here are the questions and answers. Final grade at the end. No cheating by skipping to the end.
Is the NFL ready for an openly gay player? YES
Can Michael Sam play in the NFL? YES
Will he make the St. Louis Rams' final 53? MAYBE?
The conditions in Miami tonight nearly perfect: 87F, 68% humidity, winds out of the SSE at 14mph. That's the kind of weather you desire when you are laying on the beach in Miami. Trade one of the best gridirons in the league for sand and you have the picture.
I'm not sure you can call a final preseason game historic or even significant. But when you are "on the bubble" and you are the first openly gay man to attempt to make a NFL team, all eyes are on you. Even the national media outlets sent a few extra reporters to keep an eye on No. 96.
When Jeff Fisher was asked about Sam making the Rams team he was a little hedgy with his response. He did offer his assessment of Sam as an NFL player, "I believe he can play in this league."
So Fisher has a numbers game on his hands. There are only so many spots on the roster and perhaps too many defensive lineman to keep.
Sam certainly felt he left it all on the Miami sod. "I did everything I could. It's out of my hands. I'm at the NFL mercy...I'm very confident I'm going to sleep very well tonight and I'm very confident I'm going to be on a team - the Rams or any other team in the NFL."
The Missouri graduate gave himself a B+ on the night. I gave him an A and for more than just effort. Sam showed versatility tonight playing well especially against the run as the Rams played most of the game in a 3-4. If he doesn't make the Rams, he has certainly showcased his talents in his four preseason games racking up 10.5 tackles and three sacks including two on Johnny Manziel. His first on the Browns rookie was complete with a celebratory dance with Johnny's signature "show-me-the-money hand gesture." His Rams teammates howled in support proving he had truly become one of the guys.
Sam has been studying and he has been a good student. The kid from Mizzou has certainly graduated to the NFL. The question remaining is whether he makes the cut with the Rams. For the answer, Michael Sam will have to wait until Saturday when Jeff Fisher hands out the final report card.
Number 96 said making the fifty-three will be celebrated with a "victory shot and a cigar."
I raise my glass right now and toast Michael Sam on all he has accomplished so far and for all he will in the future...Mazel Tov!
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What should be Michael Sam's fate this weekend?
This poll is closed
Makes the roster of the St. Louis Rams
Rams cut him, signed by another NFL team
Rams cut him, no NFL teams sign him, makes the practice squad
He's out of football