- Rams make history; now it's time for football...The Rams are accustomed to making history. It may have been 68 years ago, but in 1946, one year before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball, the Rams signed the first black player in the so-called modern era, Kenny Washington. There had been blacks in the early years of the game, but they were banned after the 1933 season. The signing of Washington ended a 12-year stretch without black players. Told that fact, Sam said, "The Rams know what the hell they're doing."
Still, there were other opportunities to select Sam since the Rams had two picks in the sixth round and used two earlier seventh-round picks on other players. But as punters and small-college players went off the board, as well as players that the league didn't even have information on, and Sam's name wasn't being called, head coach Jeff Fisher believed it was time. A few picks before they would use their final two choices in the draft, Fisher had conversations with chief operating officer Kevin Demoff and owner Stan Kroenke and the decision was made along with general manager Les Snead. Said Fisher, "From a historic standpoint, I'm honored to be a part of that as Les and Kevin and Mr. Kroenke are. Again, Michael's a good football player and you guys would know if you paid much attention to the response by some of his new teammates, but they're pretty excited to have him in the building. "It was the right thing to do at the right time." Still, the Rams didn't select Sam for the positive headlines it would generate. They believe, even within a very competitive position group, that Sam can help make it better. Yes, as Sam knows, aside from the obvious storyline, whatever happens on the field will be all up to him. - The Sports Xchange