FanPost

#51 Sam Mills



5 Pro Bowls in the NFL (after proving himself and helping the Stars win 2 league titles in the USFL under coach Jim Mora)

 

3 time NFL All-Pro team

 

started 173 of 181 games in the NFL  (1,319 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 4 TDs)

 

Sam Mills was the classic case of "you're too small to play in the NFL."  here is a quote from sam's high school coach that was published in Sports Illustrated:

"No scout, no coach at a big college or in the pros wants to take a chance on a linebacker who is five-nine. If the kid doesn't pan out, the guy's job is on the line. Somebody above him is going to say 'Who got me this five-nine linebacker?' Or the head coach will look at some film where his team gets beat on a pass and say 'What, we couldn't find a six-two linebacker?' The kid's gone, and the guy who found him is gone too."

 5'9" is not very appealing to head coaches for an inside LB, even in the USFL.  On the Stars, Jim Mora did not want to play him.  But assistant coaches told Mora day after day that Mills was the smartest, hardest working player on the field at every single practice.  bald since childhood, born with poor eye-sight, weighing in around 230, bench pressing 400, sam made up for the inches (and follicles) he lacked with strength and heart.  sam inspired everyone around the league, from the players he bruised and jacked-up week after week to the men he mentored as a player/coach.

 

sam mills battled cancer for 2 years, but was always there for the people who depended on him.  he worked at a car dealership in the off-season to ensure his family was taken care of even if he lost his coaching job.  he never missed a game, scheduling chemotherapy on off-days. 

 

CALLING OUT ALL YOU SAINT FANS...not only do i want to see sam mills as our #1 CSC all-time inside LB...i want to officially nominate him as our all-time captain.

 

everyone has something to learn from sam mills.  one of my favorite quotes from sam:

"You have your good days and your bad days. I am just glad I am having days, you know?"

 

the GOLDEN anniversary of his birth, Sam Mills would have been 50 today.  happy birthday BIG guy!

read more about one of my hero's at ESPN

This FanPost was written by a reader and member of Canal Street Chronicles. It does not necessarily reflect the views of CSC and its staff or editors.

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