During minicamps and OTAs, players are fighting for their positions during an intense competition for roster spots and playing time that sometimes ends in a shoving match and even punches being thrown. Scuffles are an extremely common occurrence during training camp and other offseason work, but when one of the participants is one of the most closely scrutinized rookies in this year's class, they draw a little more attention.
According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, three minor fights broke out during Thursday's session of Rams OTAs, one of which involved seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam.
Wide receiver Kenny Britt and cornerback Trumaine Johnson were the first two players to go at it during the practice. In one of the subsequent scuffles, Sam reportedly threw a forearm to the back of running back Isaiah Pead after Pead had engaged him as a blocker during a drill.
Head coach Jeff Fisher said afterwards he enjoys seeing the competitiveness come out of his players.
"Just let 'em know that we have some rules we have to abide by," Fisher said. "Learn to protect each other a little bit better. But it was good. It was very competitive. I mean, it started out early when Kenny caught those two deep balls in the one-on-one. That kind of got things going. But it was good. Good to see the offense respond." As long as those emotions don't spill over into future practices, the Rams can continue to build off of a spirited, competitive camp in pursuit of a more consistent 2014 campaign. As an added bonus, they will have their starting quarterback healthy and leading the charge.