Now it starts to get intense for Michael Sam and the rest of the St. Louis Rams rookies.

Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the N.F.L., is enthusiastic about the challenge. Twice on Tuesday, he mentioned how enjoyable it was being back on the field and trading wisecracks with teammates.

“I’m so excited to be back with the guys,” Sam said. “Football’s fun.”

Sam, a defensive end, said he hoped there would be less attention paid to his sexual orientation, but added that his focus had to be on making the team. He said he was in the best shape of his life, dropping 13 pounds in the month since the last organized team activity workout, weighing in at 257 pounds.

“Feeling great,” he said. “It’s just where I want to be speed-wise, so I can run fast and make plays. I want to be as fast as I can.”

A little more than two dozen newcomers participated indoors. Sam said he thought it felt much like another organized team activity, but noted no one had pads on yet.