Sam Mills named semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Sam Mills
Carolina Panthers linebacker Sam Mills, front, celebrates with teammate Matt Elliott after his interception in the final moments of the Panthers' 26-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday Jan. 5, 1997.(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Former linebacker Sam Mills, who lived and inspired the mantra "Keep Pounding," was on Tuesday named as one of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2019

After spending his first nine seasons with the Saints, Mills became one of the original Panthers in 1995 and produced 331 tackles, 10.0 sacks and seven interceptions during three years in Carolina. 

Mills eventually joined the Panthers' coaching staff before he died of intestinal cancer in 2005. 

The only Panther whose number (No. 51) has been retired, Mills was also a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame in 2016.