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48.  Sam Mills
Often in boxing, stellar lighter weight boxers are referred to as the “greatest fighter pound for pound”.  If there was a case to be made for that designation for linebackers, it is possible that it would go to Sam Mills.

Sam Mills stood at only five foot nine, and went undrafted.  He had to prove himself in the upstart USFL and was an impact player there and was named to the All-Time USFL Team after it folded.  After joining the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, he became part of an elite defensive corps that propelled the Saints into a contender.  Mills was not known for sacks, but he was a ferocious player who was brilliant at run-stuffing and was rewarded with five Pro Bowl appearances.

Too often it is said that a player is all heart and plays beyond his physical size or limitations.  This was not a cliché with Sam Mills who may have had more heart and perseverance than anyone who ever suited up in the National Football League.  This is why late in his career as a Carolina Panther, his "Keep Pounding" speech remains synonymous with the team.  To have this type of impact with two organizations is a huge accomplishment.

Should Sam Mills be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 88.6%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 5.4%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 4.2%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 1.8%

The Bullet Points

  • Country of Origin: Neptune, New Jersey, U.S.A.
  • Eligible Since: Wednesday, 01 January 2003
  • Position: Linebacker
  • Played For: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints
  • College: Montclair State
  • Drafted: Undrafted in 1983
  • Major Accolades and Awards: Pro Bowl Selections (5) (1987, 1988, 1991, 1992 & 1996)
    First Team All-Pro Selection (1) (1996)
    Second Team All-Pro Selection (2) (1991 & 1992)
  • Other Points of Note: Top Ten Finishes: Approximate Value (2) (1991 & 1996)
    Top Ten Finishes: Fumble Recoveries (1) (1995)
    Top Ten Finishes: Fumble Return Yards (1) (1992)
    Top Ten Finishes: Solo Tackles (1) (1994)
    Top Ten Finishes: Combined Tackles (2) (1994 & 1996)
    Top Ten Finishes: Forced Fumbles (2) (1992 & 1995)
  • Notable All Time Rankings: 21.  Combined Tackles: 1,265
    30.  Fumble Return Yards: 154
    50.  Forced Fumbles: 22
    68.  Fumbles Recovered: 23
  • Years Nominated for the Hall of Fame: 2020

Should Sam Mills be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 88.6%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 5.4%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 4.2%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 1.8%
Last modified on Monday, 02 March 2020 17:07

Comments   

+3 #1 Kevin3428 2014-01-17 06:49
Let it be known that the hall of fame in Canton calls itself the "Pro Football Hall of Fame" and not the "National Football League Hall of Fame".

Because of this, I don't think we should discount Sam's accomplishme nts in the USFL. While many might consider the USFL an "inferior" league to the NFL, it did produce many NFL stars including hall of famers Reggie White, Jim Kelly, and Steve Young.

Sam was a member of the Stars, a team that went too ALL THREE USFL Championship games, and won TWO. When you add these accolades to Sam's resume, I don't see any way Sam isn't considered PRO FOOTBALL Hall of Fame material.
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