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Expect media circus surrounding Michael Sam at combine

  • By Andy Fenelon NFL.com
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As part of an NFL contingent that assures 335 players get to where they need to be at the NFL Scouting Combine each year, Gil Brandt has seen his share of things in Indianapolis, including the circuses that followed Cam Newton and Manti Te'o under the big tent in two of the last three combines.

Brandt's not exactly sure what to expect when Missouri pass rusher Michael Sam sets foot in Lucas Oil Field and the adjoining Indianapolis Convention Center to be poked and prodded by media and NFL player personnel executives alike.

"I would think Michael's appearance in Indy will be similar to what we saw with Cam and Te'o," said Brandt, an NFL Media analyst. "But we've never seen this before."

"This" is a player announcing he is gay two weeks before the combine with his sights set on becoming the first openly gay person to play in the NFL, as Sam did on Sunday.

Last year, Te'o came to the combine under the cloud of a fake girlfriend hoax that was exposed a month earlier. And in 2011, Newton was answering questions about his character and ambitions to be an entertainer and icon.

Brandt said he was told by Sam's agent, Joe Barkett, that his client would participate fully at the combine. Barkett told Brandt that he's currently discussing logistics with the NFL and that it's still to be determined exactly how and when Sam will talk to the media.

Te'o's media appearance at the combine was pulled off rather flawlessly, considering the record-setting number of media credentials that were handed out last year and the -- let's face it -- weird circumstances.

NFL Exposure

Te'o at the 2013 combine

Manti Te'o was the big story of last year's NFL Scouting Combine. Take a look back at his journey to the NFL through the photos at the 2013 combine in Indianapolis.

Brandt credits Te'o's agent, Tom Condon, for handling everything "terrifically," setting everything up ahead of the combine, like Barkett is attempting to do with Sam.

Sam is scheduled to do the following at the combine:

» Friday, Feb. 21: Travel to Indianapolis, register, pre-exam and X-rays, orientation and team interviews
» Saturday, Feb. 22: Measurements, medical examinations, meet with the media, team interviews
» Sunday, Feb. 23: Psychological testing, bench press, team interviews
» Monday, Feb. 24: Onfield workouts, depart Indianapolis.

Sam has been assigned No. 42 as part of the combine's DL grouping. We'll soon find out if this trailblazer handles the pressure as well as another 42 did more than 60 years ago.

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