INDIANAPOLIS -- Michael Sam needed no introduction. He provided one anyway, subtly spelling out his desire to be known simply as a football player whose sexuality isnt a national story. "Good afternoon. My name is Michael Sam. I play football for the University of Missouri," he said to commence his first public appearance since announcing hes gay. Sam smiled and laughed often during a 12 1/2-minute news conference at Lucas Oil Stadium, looking relaxed, jovial and confident while taking questions from the hundreds of reporters surrounding the podium. Despite credentials that include the Southeastern Conference co-defensive player of the year award, Sam is projected only as a mid-round pick in the draft in May. Hes 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, falling somewhere between a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme and an outside linebacker in a 3-4 system. Where he winds up, Sam said he doesnt care. "Im a pass rusher. If you put me in a situation to get the quarterback, Im going to get the quarterback. Whoever coaches or GMs, this league is a passing league. Id like to believe in myself as a good pass rusher," Sam said. Hes not worried about being accepted, either, in light of the bullying scandal that emerged in Miami. "If the Miami Dolphins drafted me I would be excited to be a part of that organization," Sam said. "But Im not afraid of going into that environment. I know how to handle myself. I know how to communicate with my teammates. I know how to communicate with the coaches and other staff I need to communicate with." Mostly, Sam wants to communicate this: "I just wish you guys would just see me as Michael Sam the football player instead of Michael Sam the gay football player." His former Missouri teammates certainly did. "Hes happy with who he is. He doesnt shy away from who he is. Mike Sam has got a lot of personality. Hes a great guy. Hes not going to be any different than who he is every day," said wide receiver LDamian Washington, one of several ex-Tigers stars here for the NFLs annual scouting combine. If Sam were to slip down the draft board, determining a bias against his orientation or a fear of the potential distraction would be near impossible. If teams pass on him, theyre likely unsure how his combination of size and speed fits with their defence. "You only need one team. One team that believes in you. Theres 32 teams. You need one team," Washington said. Coaches and executives around the league were asked often this weekend for their thoughts on how Sam would fit, both on the field and in the locker room. "He would be welcomed, no different than any other player we have," New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said, adding: "The big thing we always talk about is respect in our locker room." Tampa Bay Lightning Outlet Store . 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Mikes attention to detail, strong personnel background and collaborative approach to evaluating players made it clear that he is the right choice to be the next general manager of the New York Jets.The Jets are still searching for a coach to replace Rex Ryan, who was fired along with Idzik on Dec. 29 after a 4-12 season in which the Jets missed the post-season for the fourth straight year.New York interviewed Arizona defensive co-ordinator Todd Bowles for a second time Tuesday — and Maccagnan was involved in the meeting. The Jets are also high on Seattle defensive co-ordinator Dan Quinn, but must wait until the Seahawks are eliminated from the playoffs or the bye week before the Super Bowl to interview him again.As with all teams, there are some areas we need to address, Maccagnan said. But were going to hire the right head coach, evaluate our personnel and work together to build a football operation to get the New York Jets back on the winning track.In terms of the teams power structure, both Maccagnan and the new coach will report directly to Johnson. Maccagnan will have final say on the 53-man roster, while the coach will decide who plays.Johnson chose to go in a new direction at both coach and general manager, despite Idzik only having the job for two years. In order to determine the most suitable candidates, the owner hired the services of Casserly and Wolf, both experienced and well-respected former NFL general managers.The Jets interviewed seven candidates for the GM job, and Maccagnans strong background in personnel impressed Johnson. He has very little experience on the business end, in terms of salary cap issues and contracts, which was Idziks strength. But Maccagnan is known to have a terrific eye for talent.Mike Maccagnan is an outstanding football man, one who is highly organized, and an excellent evaluator, Casserly said. He is very thorough in his preparation and will do a terrific job for the Jets.Maccagnan has close ties to Casserly, which likely bolstered the new GMs chances. He had been with the Texans sincee 2000, when Casserly — then Houstons general manager — hired him and contributed to every draft since the teams inception.dddddddddddd Maccagnan also previously worked with Casserly in Washington, where he was a scout for the Redskins for six seasons.He was promoted to director of college scouting for the Texans in 2011 after previously working as the teams assistant director. He also has spent time in the scouting and player personnel departments of the CFLs Ottawa Rough Riders and Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the World Leagues London Monarchs, as well as the World Leagues offices.Maccagnan grew up in Hightstown, New Jersey, about an hour south of the Jets facility in Florham Park.He beat out six other candidates, including Tampa Bay director of player personnel Jon Robinson, Miami director of college scouting Chris Grier, Philadelphia director of pro personnel Rick Mueller, Seattle director of pro personnel Trent Kirchner, Cleveland executive chief of staff Bill Kuharich and Jets senior director of football administration Rod Graves.In my line of work, Maccagnan said, having the chance to serve as a general manager is what you work toward your entire career.The first order of business for Maccagnan will be helping the team find a new coach.Once thats sorted out, Maccagnan will have a solid salary cap situation with the Jets, who enter the off-season about $40 million under the cap. He will have several key decisions to make in the next several months, including figuring out the quarterback position.Geno Smith mostly struggled through his second season, and the Jets could opt to upgrade the position through free agency or the draft, in which they hold the No. 6 pick. Oregons Marcus Mariota and Florida States Jameis Winston are considered the top quarterbacks who could be available, but both could be gone before New York selects.Maccagnan will also need to address the cornerback spot, which heavily contributed to the teams struggles last season because of injuries and inconsistency. Star defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is in line for a new contract after a solid fourth season, and Maccagnan must determine whether wide receiver Percy Harvin, a midseason acquisition, is worth a $10.5 million cap hit. Left tackle DBrickashaw Ferguson ($11.7 million) and centre Nick Mangold ($10.4 million) will also be hefty cap hits.I have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Johnson during the interview process and am grateful to him for this opportunity, Maccagnan said. We have a solid foundation of players and a state-of-the-art facility in one of the most exciting and dynamic areas in America.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '