CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers announced they will honor former linebacker and assistant coach Sam Mills, who died in 2005, with a helmet sticker on Thursday night.
Each player will wear a sticker with No. 51 on it during the team's primetime game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
On Friday, the NFL Network documentary series "A Football Life," will focus on Mills' life.
The Panthers screened the film as a team ahead of their win at Detroit.
"Sam Mills was such an integral part of the history, the development of the culture here," head coach Ron Rivera said.
Mills was a Carolina Panther from 1995-97 before retiring and taking a job as an assistant with the team until 2004.
Current Panthers 37-year-old defensive end Julius Peppers actually played for Mills.
"You could see a very melancholy look in his eyes about having been around Sam," Rivera said. "I think it made an impact."
In 2003, Mills was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, but continued to coach. He died April 18, 2005 in Charlotte.
Mills' slogan "Keep Pounding" is stitched on the inside of each Panthers uniform collar, and is the genesis for the Keep Pounding drum, struck before every home game. There is also a statue of Mills outside Bank of America Stadium.
Mills also played for the New Orleans Saints. His son Sam Mills III is still a defensive assistant with Carolina.
Make sure you watch and cheer on the Panthers as they take on the Eagles Thursday night! The game airs at 8:25 p.m. on WFMY News 2. #PanthersOn2
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