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Keep Pounding Drummers | Carolina Panthers -

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.

2022 Keep Pounding Drummers

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Date Opponent Name Notes
8/26 Bills Ericia Turner CMS Athletics Director
9/11 Browns Peter Blaich 9/11 First Responder
9/25 Saints Kerwin Vargas Charlotte FC player
10/2 Cardinals Melanie Mills Keep Pounding Day
10/9 49ers Dr. Antoinette Tan Crucial Catch
10/23 Buccaneers Jaret Huneycutt Atrium Health
11/10 Falcons Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels Salute to Service
11/27 Broncos Carolina Brouchard Atrium Health
12/18 Steelers Derrick Brown WPMOY Nominee

2021 Keep Pounding Drummers

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Date Opponent Name Notes
9/12 New York Jets Kathleen Britton 9/11 survivor, volunteer responder
9/19 New Orleans Christian Fuchs Charlotte FC player
10/10 Philadelphia Dr. Javier Oesterheld Cancer doctor
10/17 Minnesota Dr. Kathryn Hanes-Romano / Pablo Hortal Athletic trainer and student saved
11/7 New England Guzman Corujo Charlotte FC player
11/21 Washington Major General Chris Donahue Salute to Service
12/12 Atlanta DJ Moore Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee
12/26 Tampa Bay TJ Olsen Heart transplant recipient

2020 Keep Pounding Drummers

Table inside Article
Date Opponent Name Notes
9/13 Las Vegas Tabari Wallace
10/4 Arizona Avery Caruso Battling Leukemia
10/18 Chicago Stephanie Killian
10/29 Atlanta Sarah Dean Breast cancer survivo
11/15 Tampa Bay Brig. Gen. Victor Petrenki U.S. Army
11/22 Detroit Ronnie Long Wrongfully convicted, released after 44 years
12/13 Denver Shaq Thompson Panthers linebacker
1/3 New Orleans Corey Seager LA Dodgers shortstop

2019 Keep Pounding Drummers

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Date Opponent Name Notes
August 16 Buffalo Sir Purr 25th season anniversary
August 29 Pittsburgh Zaire Washington
September 8 Los Angeles Rams Muhsin Muhammad Panthers 25th Silver Season Team member
September 12 Tampa Bay Mike Rucker Panthers 25th Silver Season Team member
October 6 Jacksonville Jordan Gross, Jake Delhomme, Wesley Walls, Steve Smith Sr. Hall of Honor Inductees
November 3 Tennessee Avery Wilson Luekemia survivor - Atrium Health Rep
November 17 Atlanta CSM Annette Weber
December 1 Washington Josie Atrium Health Rep
December 15 Seattle Atrium Health Rep
December 29 New Orleans Mario Addison Panthers defensive end

2018 Keep Pounding Drummers

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Date Opponent Name Notes
August 17 Miami Willie Green Panthers alumni wide receiver
August 24 New England Mitch Harwood, Bradford Hancock, McKenzie Stevens, Hayley Blaauw Queens University four-time National Champion Swimmers & Divers
September 9 Dallas Gen. Robert Neller Commandant of the Marine Corps
September 23 Cincinnati Dana Outlaw Mayor of New Bern, N.C.
October 7 New York Giants Crucial Catch Representatives Cancer survivors and representatives of the Crucial Catch initiative.
October 28 Baltimore Tharon Drake U.S. Paralympic silver medalist and NCAA's first blind swimming coach at Catawba College
November 4 Tampa Bay Doug Greenlaw National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart
November 25 Seattle SFC Jennifer Edgerly U.S. Army Sergeant
December 17 New Orleans Austin Dillon 2018 Dayton 500 champion
December 23 Atlanta Joshua Meyers, Scott Rohrer Special Olympians

2017 Keep Pounding Drummers

Table inside Article
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