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Michael Sam not a distraction: Tony Dungy praises rookie's performance

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Tony Dungy has been impressed with Michael Sam's preseason performance. (WKYC-TV)
Tony Dungy has been impressed with Michael Sam's preseason performance. (WKYC-TV)

Former NFL head coach Tony Dungy said over the summer that if he were still a coach, he wouldn't have drafted Michael Sam. Dungy alluded to the fact that Sam would be a distraction in the lock room.

With the preseason over three weeks old now, Dungy talked about Sam again on Wednesday and this time, he had positive things to say.

"From what I've seen, he's played very well in the preseason, got after the quarterback and rushed the passer, and that's what they got him for. And it looks like he's doing his job really well," Dungy said when asked about Sam's preseason performance, via USA Today.

Earlier this summer, Dungy had said he didn't want to 'deal with' what Sam would potentially bring to an NFL team. "Not because I don't believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn't want to deal with all of it," Dungy said of why he wouldn't draft Sam. "It's not going to be totally smooth ... things will happen."

Dungy didn't feel the need to further explain those comments on Wednesday.

"Well I think … the whole thing has been played out and I think it's been talked about," Dungy said. "It's something that transpired probably three or four months ago now, and I don't know that I need to go into that any farther."

Dungy eventually apologized for the comments. Sam's reaction to Dungy's original comments?

The rookie defensive lineman joked about it. "Thank God he wasn't a St. Louis Rams coach [during the draft]," Sam said in July.

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