By Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito on July 13, 2014
The St. Louis Rams ignited a media firestorm after selecting Michael Sam in the seventh round of this year's draft. Of course, the story fueled a media frenzy for a few weeks and completely overshadowed their first-round pick, Greg Robinson. But other than that, the Rams have had a relatively quiet offseason. That doesn't mean that there aren't things going on in St. Louis, though.
Here are five storylines you'll want to follow during camp.
Running back Tre Mason is a big talker. He made some headlines by saying that he intends to use camp to prove that he's a starting quality back. He will have to have a very big camp to unseat Zac Stacy as the team's starter. Stacy had a tremendous rookie season in 2013, rushing for over 900 yards, but Mason is confident he will show HC Jeff Fisher that he's starting material. Whether he can back up his words or not remains to be seen.
While some of the coverage will undoubtedly center on Sam being the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL, there is still the question of whether or not he can actually perform at the next level. He was a beast at Mizzou, but will that translate to the NFL? Sam's best shot at making the roster will be on special teams. If he can perform there he may be able to work himself into the rotation, but he has to make the team first.
You would expect an incumbent to be a lock for a starting role. In this case, veteran linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar seems like the safe pick to open the season for the Rams. However, Ray-Ray Armstrong, an undrafted rookie in 2013, made a splash for the Rams, mainly on special teams. He has tremendous athleticism and a high motor. With Dunbar's suspension and struggles last season, the door may be open for Armstrong. Can he walk through it?
A stud tackle at Auburn, the Rams made Greg Robinson the second overall pick in this year's draft and proclaimed that they'd use him as a guard. Robinson is struggling with the transition to a new position. He has spoken openly about his frustrations with the positional switch and his inability to adapt to it quickly. If he's not able to make the transition, the Rams are going to have some real problems on the offensive side of the ball.
After passing on a QB in the draft, the Rams have gone all in with Bradford. If he's not right, the Rams are in a world of hurt. For his part, Bradford says he's 100 percent and is ready to go. But his health, and his recovery from a season-ending injury last season, will be something the Rams – and the media – will be watching closely as the season unfolds. Needless to say, the Rams hope he's right because they don't have a plan B.
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