Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – St. Louis Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam strengthened his bid for spot in the regular season roster, sacking Cleveland Browns neophyte quarterback Johnny Manziel twice in Saturday’s preseason contest at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Sam, eyeing to become the league’s first openly gay active player, mimicked Manziel’s money sign after sacking him with 11 minutes remaining in the Rams’ 33-14 win over the Browns.
In the dying seconds of the game, Sam got to Manziel again to finish his day with two sacks and two tackles.
Sam now has sacks in consecutive NFL exhibitions. He also took down the Packers’ Matt Flynn last week.
“I feel great. I thought I got better today,” said Sam, a seventh-round pick by the Rams.
Manziel, for his part, finished the game 10-of-15 passing for 85 yards and no turnovers. He also had a seven-yard rushing score in his first game since the team announced that Brian Hoyer will be the starter.
Based on his performance in the offseason, Browns general manager Ray Farmer believes that Manziel will evolve into the franchise player that the team envisioned when they drafted him 22nd overall three months ago.
“I think he is right where he’s supposed to be,” Farmer said. “I laugh because its four weeks into his first training camp and everyone is waiting to see Steve Young run out the tunnel. I don’t know where the reality in that lies.”
“It’s like anything else,” Farmer added. “If you’re learning a foreign language, guess what, you’re not going to go to Spain tomorrow and in four weeks feel like you’re fluent in the language and just start talking. It just doesn’t happen like that. You may be able to communicate, but not effectively.”
The Browns close out the preseason at home against the Bears on Thursday night.