Words cannot begin to describe the meaning behind the late Sam Mills' motivational words, "Keep Pounding." They were delivered in a speech from him to the Panthers prior to their matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2003 Wild Card Game.
The message was simply about overcoming adversity, and it was through this speech the team learned the true nature of Mills' personal fight against cancer.
No other words or statement carries the weight that Mills coined nearly a decade ago.
Veteran Steve Smith revealed what the words of his former coach meant to him, via Scott Fowler of The Charlotte Observer:
His speech was so impactful to me. Even nine years later, I remember it. You had a guy who had every opportunity to take pity on himself, to be like, ‘I don’t feel like dealing with this.’ And he opened up. And he made it about something else. Something bigger.
Carolina keeps those words close at all times.
"Keep Pounding" is inscribed on the wall of the training room and adorns the meeting rooms as well. With Nike taking over as the sponsor of NFL attire, the Panthers jerseys have the slogan stitched inside the collar.
Sam Mills lost his battle to cancer on April 18, 2005 at the age of 45. While he is gone, his legacy and his words continue to live within each and every Carolina executive, scout, coach, player and fan.
Keep Pounding, my friends.