Sam Mills Death: 2022 Hall of Fame Lose the Battle of Cancer?


Aditi Deshinge

Sam mills dies so early which is very shocking for his fans. Sam was just 45 years old and fought with intestinal cancer in 2005. Mills was a 12 year NFL middle linebacker and at the time of his death he was the linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers.

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Throughout his football career Sam Mills was an incredible inspiration to everyone. At that time he was undersized because his height was 5 foot 9 inches. He needed to get his NFL shot by going through USFL first.

Sam mills never stopped coach while he was taking a treatment for cancer. He always told the team to keep pounding before its playoff opener at the end of the 2003 season.

The Panthers ended up playing in their first Super Bowl later that postseason against the New England Patriots and Mills’ “keep pounding” mantra is everywhere around the Panthers.

Sam Mills Death

Mills has a statue outside the Panthers’ stadium, a testament to his popularity and enduring spirit.

Sam’s son Marcus Mills told the Panthers’ web site after he toured the Hall of Fame that –

“It’s a shame he couldn’t be here, he can’t be here with his peers,”. “But when you see it, you know, it does feel right. He does belong here. He really does.”

Sam Mills Died at the age of 45 and the cause of his death intestinal cancer.

Did Sam Mills Was an Unlikely Star in Nfl?

Sam Mills has one of the more unlikely Hall of Fame stories. He went undrafted in 1981 and so He didn’t make his NFL debut until 1986.

Mills was overlooked because he was a short middle linebacker who played at Division II Montclair State in New Jersey.

When he was undrafted, he was signed and cut by the Cleveland Browns in 1981. He was also cut by the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.

Mills caught a break with the USFL’s Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars and found an ally in Coach Jim Mora. Mills was a three-time all-USFL linebacker and a two-time champion with the Stars. Mora convinced the Saints to sign Mills after the USFL folded. He became one of the greatest players in Saints history, making four Pro Bowls in nine years.

As per a Montclair State University magazine article in 2014 Mora Said that –

“People always ask me, ‘Who’s the best player you’ve ever coached?’”. “And I always say, ‘Sam Mills.’ I was fortunate to coach a lot of players, but Sam Mills was No. 1 on that list.”

Sam Mills Death

Mora also coached Peyton Manning, among others.

Mora told WDSU in New Orleans

“I’m so happy for him and his family and I’m extremely excited and kind of overwhelmed with it because I think it was overdue,” about Mills’ Hall of Fame induction.

Mills left a legacy wherever he played. Even though he only played three seasons with Carolina, that’s where he’s remembered best.

Did Sam Mills Was Beloved in Carolina?

Sam became fan favourite very instantly in Carolina. In the teams first ever win, he intercepted a shovel pass from New York Jets quarterback Bubby Brister and returned it for a touchdown. That gave the Panthers the lead, and they wouldn’t trail again.

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He was a key part of a second-year Panthers team that made the NFC championship game before losing to the Green Bay Packers. Sam was a Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro that 1996 season, at age 37. Sam Mills was retired after the 1997 season.

Immediately Mills joined the Panthers’ coaching staff when he retired. When he was diagnosed with cancer, He was linebackers coach.

At that time, He was given three months to live. At the end of 2003 season, He was still coaching and he also gave a speech that lives in Panthers lore.

“When I found out I had cancer, there were two things could do: quit or keep pounding,” Mills said, via the Hall of Fame. “I’m a fighter. I kept pounding. You’re fighters, too. Keep pounding!”

Sam Mills Death

The Panthers bang the “keep pounding” drum before home games, a tradition that started in 2012.

Mills’ induction into the Hall of Fame on Saturday will be bittersweet. But it will be a great reminder of the odds he beat to become an all-time great linebacker and a franchise icon.

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