Saints will add Sam Mills to the Ring of Honor

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The Saints will be expanding their Ring of Honor to include someone who already is in the Ring of Honor for a rival in the NFC South.

Linebacker Sam Mills will join six current members of the Saints’ Ring of Honor on December 2, a Thursday night game against the Cowboys.

Mills played for the Saints from 1986 through 1994. He then spent three years as a player with the Panthers, and then seven as an assistant coach. The Panthers previously placed Mills in the Carolina Ring of Honor.

He will be the seventh member of the New Orleans Ring of Honor, joining Tom Benson, Morten Andersen, Rickey Jackson, Archie Manning, William Roaf, and Will Smith.

In 2005, Mills died of cancer. Before the team’s playoff opener against the Cowboys following the 2003 season, Mills addressed the team. “When I found out I had cancer, there were two things could do: quit or keep pounding,” Mills said. “I’m a fighter. I kept pounding. You’re fighters, too. Keep pounding!

That phrase — keep pounding — is stitched into the collar of every Panthers jersey. In December, the man who uttered that phrase becomes one of the few persons immortalized by the Saints.