Sam Mills


“Sam Mills was one of the best players I've been around - period! No asterisk what whatsoever,” says former teammate Irv Eatman.

If there was one person who was symbolic of what the USFL stood for -- it was Sam Mills.

Mills, at 5-feet-9inches, was considered too short for the NFL.

Teams didn’t have room on their roster for a linebacker that was a few books shy of six-feet tall.

But height doesn't measure a man's heart.

Today, Mills is so revered as a person and
player, that the Carolina Panthers have a
statue of him outside the stadium and
continue to impress upon their young
players the Mills way.

Dave Lapham, who blocked against the
Steel Curtain twice a year as a member of
the Bengals, says, “Sam Mills, like Flutie
was short, but he was 225 lbs, with a size
14 shoe, and you couldn’t knock him off his feet. You couldn’t get under his shoulders pads.  You had to come off the line of scrimmage on your knee-caps to try and get leverage; football is all about leverage. Sam proved he could separate from blocks and make big plays.”

Mills went to five Pro Bowls as a member of the Saints, leading the organization to the playoffs four times in his nine years in New Orleans, and once with the Panthers.

Offensive lineman Irv Eatman, who was a teammate of Mills with the Stars during their three USFL Championship appearances, says “Sam Mills was one of the best players I've been around - period! No asterisk what whatsoever. ”