Tony Dungy's comments about the potential distractions of Michael Sam have sparked a great deal of discussion on the topic, but ultimately, Jeff Fisher is the one who is actually going to deal with the rookie defensive end. The Rams head coach joined The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday to discuss the degree to which Sam has disturbed the normal goings-on of St. Louis' preseason activities.
"There are no distractions in our building," Fisher said. "There may be an extra camera out there, but that's not something that's life-changing. It's been fine. Mike's handled everything really well. His teammates have embraced him. He came back in great shape and we're going to give him every opportunity to make this football team."
In addition to his comments on Sam, Fisher added that he has no issue with Dungy's views on the matter.
"I didn't pay much attention to it," Fisher said. "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. ... I've got great respect for Tony, but we all have differences of opinion."
Fisher's interview with Patrick mirrors his take from earlier Wednesday morning on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning. During his time on the program, he was asked if Sam had been a distraction, and the 18-year head coach's response was emphatic.
"Absolutely not," Fisher said, going on to note the aformentioned uptick in media presence at the team's facilities.
The number of cameras could continue to rise at Rams camp as Fisher has said that there will be no limits placed on Sam's media availability during the preseason. The documentary-style Oprah Winfrey special, on the other hand, could get nixed.
"We had internal discussions and met with their network people and when the meeting was over, we agreed that it would be in Mike's best interest to postpone it," Fisher said.
When asked if he would sign off on Sam's participation in the piece if the former SEC Defensive Player of the Year makes the 53-man roster, Fisher remained noncommital.
"Well, I'm not saying that," Fisher said. "We'll have some discussions."
Dungy, for his part in the matter, gave an interview on The Dan Patrick Show that preceded Fisher's. It can be seen in its entirety below.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jeff Fisher
- Michael Sam
- Tony Dungy
- Dan Patrick