Panthers honor Sam Mills with ‘Keep Pounding’ game

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers honored former linebacker and assistant coach, and newest Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Sam Mills on Sunday.

The five-time pro-bowl linebacker played in the NFL for 12 years and spent three of those years with the Panthers.

In August, Mills, who bravely battled cancer when he was a coach with the team, was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in the final year of his modern class eligibility.

It was in one of his motivational pregame speeches that Mills instructed players to “Keep Pounding,” which became the team’s mantra.

The team celebrated Mills’ induction at halftime with videos and speeches from NFL Hall of Fame President Jim Porter, current Panthers assistant general manager Dan Morgan, who also played under Mills, and Melanie Mills, Sam Mills’ wife.

In addition, players wore Mills’ number 51 on their helmets and ran out of the tunnel with 51 and Keep Pounding flags.

Keep Pounding statues were set up at the North and East gates at the stadium and a fan autograph wall was placed next to Mills’ statue along Mint Street.

A special exhibit was in the mobile team museum inside the North gate and special merchandise was made available in the team store, including replica Sam Mills jerseys and throwback Mills T-shirts.

Melanie Mills hit the Keep Pounding drum prior to kickoff.

(Watch below: Fourth annual “Keep Pounding” day of service honors Panthers legend Sam Mills)