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Keep Pounding Drummer

Keep Pounding has become a team mantra in honor of late Carolina Panthers player and coach Sam Mills. Mills first used the phrase "Keep Pounding" as a coach in an emotional speech to the team prior to the Panthers' playoff game versus the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 2, 2004. He spoke about commitment, dedication to teammates, team effort and never giving up. Mills asked the players to "Keep Pounding."

Immediately following the coin toss before every home game, an honorary drummer rallies the entire stadium by hitting the massive six-foot Keep Pounding Drum four times to signify four quarters. Keep Pounding Drummers come from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, but all have overcome a great trial or adversity that has not only made them strong but also pushes them to make others around them stronger.

2017 Keep Pounding Drummers
Date Opponent Name Notes
August 9 Houston Texans Gerald Williams Panthers alumni defensive end (1995-97)
August 31 Pittsburgh Steelers Harry Swimmer Founder of 'Mitey Riders' therapeutic riding program
September 17 Buffalo Bills A'ja Wilson, Tyasha Harris, Luke Maye, Joel Berry II  Members of the USC and UNC women's and men's national championship basketball teams
September 24 New Orleans Saints Maliyah Morrison  Member of Fuel Up to Play60 Leadership Team 
October 12 Philadelphia Eagles Alex Marshall, Gary Bowne, Paulus Bonar, Zoe Oliver Cancer survivors as part of Crucial Catch initiative 
November 5 Atlanta Falcons Mike Minter  Former Panthers safety (1997-06) 
November 13 Miami Dolphins SSG Chad Campbell U.S. military member in honor of Salute to Service
December 10 Minnesota Vikings Carrie Keuten  Panthers Fan of the Year 
December 17 Green Bay Packers Julius Peppers  Panthers all-time sack leader 
December 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Braheam Murphy  Local high school football QB and state champion 

2016 Keep Pounding Drummers
Date Opponent Name Notes
August 26 New England Patriots Chris Draft Panthers alumni linebacker (2005-06)
September 1 Pittsburgh Steelers Coastal Carolina Baseball Team 2016 NCAA Division I National Champions
September 18 San Francisco 49ers Kevin Greene 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, Panthers alumni linebacker (1996, 1998-99)
September 25 Minnesota Vikings Ryan Held Gold medalist at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 4x100m freestyle relay, North Carolina State swimmer
October 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan Kuhn Breast Cancer Awareness Month honoree
October 30 Arizona Cardinals Kemba Walker Charlotte Hornets guard
November 13 Kansas City Chiefs Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas Waskow Salute to Service honoree
November 17 New Orleans Saints Carl Edwards Jr. Pitcher for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs
December 11 San Diego Chargers Chad Knaus NASCAR champion crew chief
December 24 Atlanta Falcons Charles Johnson Panthers defensive end
2015 Keep Pounding Drummers
Date Opponent Name Notes
August 22 Miami Dolphins Harriette Thompson Oldest women to ever complete a marathon at 92 years old
August 28 New England Patriots Kevin Donnalley Panthers alumni offensive guard (2001-03)
September 20 Houston Texans Stephen Curry 2015 NBA MVP, Charlotte native and Davidson College alumnus
September 27 New Orleans Saints Braylon Beam Make-A-Wish child
October 25 Philadelphia Eagles Ashley Cashon Breast Cancer Awareness Month honoree
November 2 Indianapolis Colts Cpl. Kyle Carpenter Medal of Honor recipient
November 8 Green Bay Packers Sgt. Scott Hiatt Salute to Service honoree
November 22 Washington Redskins Whitney Engen,
Heather O'Reilly
2015 USA Women's World Cup champion team members
December 13 Atlanta Falcons Jay Haas and Bill Haas Father and son professional golfers who attended Wake Forest
January 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Stewart Panthers running back
January 17 Seattle Seahawks Ricky Proehl Panthers wide receivers coach, member of Super Bowl XXXVIII team
January 24 Arizona Cardinals Jerry Richardson Panthers Owner/Founder
2014 Keep Pounding Drummers
Date Opponent Name Notes
August 8 Buffalo Bills Dwight Stone Panthers alumni wide receiver (1995-98)
August 17 Kansas City Chiefs George Gring Make-A-Wish child
September 14 Detroit Lions Jordan Gross Panthers alumni offensive tackle (2003-13)
September 21 Pittsburgh Steelers MSG Mario Ramirez Hispanic Heritage Month honoree
October 5 Chicago Bears Summer Holt Miller Breast Cancer Awareness Month honoree
October 26 Seattle Seahawks Mark Carrier Panthers alumni wide receiver (1995-98)
October 30 New Orleans Saints Travis Freeman Inspiration for the movie "23 Blast"
November 16 Atlanta Falcons Sgt. Kyle White Salute to Service honoree, Medal of Honor recipient
December 14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jimmie Johnson NASCAR champion driver
December 21 Cleveland Browns Andy Giarla Make-A-Wish child
January 3 Arizona Cardinals Greg Olsen Panthers 2014 Ed Block Courage Award winner
2013 Keep Pounding Drummers
Date Opponent Name Notes
August 9 Chicago Bears Steve Beuerlein Panthers alumni quarterback (1996-2000)
August 29 Pittsburgh Steelers Michael and Nicole Gross Boston Marathon bombing survivors
September 8 Seattle Seahawks Brad Lambert Charlotte 49ers head football coach
September 22 New York Giants Muhsin Muhammad Panthers alumni wide receiver (1996-2004, 2008-09)
October 20 St. Louis Rams Susan Olsen Breast Cancer Awareness Month honoree, mother of Greg Olsen
November 3 Atlanta Falcons Jake Delhomme Panthers alumni quarterback (2003-09)
November 18 New England Patriots SFC Cedric King Salute to Service honoree, recipient of Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart
December 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Zach Booker Play 60 ambassador
December 15 New York Jets Stuart and Shelby Stout Make-A-Wish parents of Hope Stout
December 22 New Orleans Saints Thomas Davis 2013 NFL Man of the Year nominee
January 12 San Francisco 49ers Marcus and Sierra Mills Children of former Panthers linebacker and coach Sam Mills
2012 Keep Pounding Drummers
Date Opponent Name Notes
September 16 New Orleans Brad Hoover Panthers alumni fullback (2000-09)
September 20 New York Giants Ricky Berens, Manteo Mitchell, Davis Tarwater USA Olympic gold medalists
October 7 Seattle Seahawks Sandra Hill Breast Cancer Awareness Month honoree, mother of DeAngelo Williams
October 21 Dallas Cowboys Wesley Walls Panthers alumni tight end (1996-2002)
November 11 Denver Broncos Sgt. Brian Williams and Carly Salute to Service honoree and his explosive-sniffing dog
November 18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Rucker Panthers alumni defensive end (1999-2007)
December 9 Atlanta Falcons John Isner Professional tennis player who played in the longest match in history
December 23 Oakland Raiders Gene Brown Retiring Panthers director of security