Saints to add late linebacker Sam Mills to ring of honor

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FILE – On this Tuesday, June 26, 2001, file photo, former New Orleans Saints player Sam Mills, left, signs an autograph for Gene Ponti of Monroe, La., At the Hall of Fame induction banquet Louisiana Sports 2001 at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana. The New Orleans Saints will soon add the late Sam Mills name to their honor ring in the Superdome. The club announced their decision to honor Mills, who died of cancer in 2005, at halftime in his Dec. 2 home game against Dallas. (Matthew Minard / The Shreveport Times via AP, file)

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The New Orleans Saints will soon add the late Sam Mills name to their honor ring in the Superdome.

The club announced their decision to honor Mills, who died of cancer in 2005, at halftime in his Dec. 2 home game against Dallas.

Mills, who played for New Orleans from 1986 to 1994, was part of a linebacking corps known as the “Dome Patrol,” along with Professional Football Hall of Fame Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling and Vaughan Johnson . Mills was also among the first four playoff teams in Saints history.

Mills made 934 tackles with the Saints, ranking second in club history behind Jackson. Mills also had 10 1/2 sacks, four interceptions, 15 forced fumbles and 17 fumble recoveries for New Orleans.

His name will appear alongside those of late owner Tom Benson, Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen, Jackson, quarterback Archie Manning, Hall of Fame offensive tackle William Roaf and late defensive end Will Smith. . The club’s ring of honor was established in 2013 and currently features the illuminated names of honored players suspended above the upper deck of the Dome Superdome.

A native of Long Branch, New Jersey, Mills was also a finalist for the 2020 and 2021 Professional Football Hall of Fame classes and is nominated for the Class of 2022.

Mills played in college for Montclair State and began his professional career with the USFL Philadelphia Stars in 1983. He spent his last three seasons in the NFL with Carolina, where he later coached scouts and scouts. linebackers.

FAILURE OF THE ROKIES

No rookie quarterback has won a game in London, with the Jets’ Zach Wilson the latest to fail in the 27-20 loss to Atlanta last Sunday.

Now Jacksonville’s top draft pick Trevor Lawrence gets a shot in Sunday morning’s game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The rookie quarterbacks to start an international game since 2005 have been Gardner Minshew for the Jaguars in a 2019 loss to Houston; Deshone Kizer of Cleveland in a 2017 loss to Minnesota; Blake Bortles of Jacksonville in a loss to Dallas in 2014; and Derek Carr of the Raiders the same year, when they fell in Miami.

Only Carr threw a touchdown pass among these rookie QBs.

AUDIBLES

The NFL is breaking out with an NFL Songs of the Season 2021-2022 series, which began Thursday night when musical duo The Audibles made the first track.

A four-time Grammy nominated duo of Dominic ‘DJ’ Jordan and Jimmy Giannos, they have produced songs for Justin Bieber, Lupe Fiasco and Sam Smith.

Songs of the Season highlights recording artists of all genres, incorporating their music into game broadcasts throughout the 2021 season. Revenue generated from the program will benefit organizations supported by Inspire Change, the initiative of social justice of the NFL.

focused on reducing barriers to opportunity in four priority areas: education, economic advancement, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform.

“Songs of the Season is an exciting initiative that empowers fans to get involved in the great work that NFL players and clubs do to advance social justice in their local communities,” said Anna Isaacson, vice -Senior Chair of Social Responsibility for the NFL. “We are grateful for this collaboration with four-time Grammy-nominated duo The Audibles and their exciting single ‘Outrageous’ to support the impact of the social justice initiative Inspire Change.”

The songs of the season debuted during the 2019-20 season and featured artists Blackway, Kelly Rowland, Robin Thicke, Royce Da 5′9 ″, Lecrae and SASH.

GO HOME

Linebacker Avery Williamson is back with the team that drafted him in 2014 to his home state of Tennessee, and he’s busy learning the defensive playbook.

Keeping an eye on his former team’s defense should help.

“Sure, you know I was gone, but it’s like an ex-girlfriend,” Williamson said ahead of his second workout. “You’re kind of going to follow her on social media, try not to like the photos and stuff. But I followed them. So I still watch them, and they fly around the man. Fly around.

Williamson left the Titans in March 2018 when he signed a contract with the New York Jets weeks after the Titans hired Mike Vrabel as their new head coach. A torn ACL cost Williamson the 2019 season, and the Jets traded him to Pittsburgh last season. It was there that he played with linebacker Bud Dupree, who signed this offseason with the Titans.

“When he ended up signing here, I was low-key like, ‘Dude, that would be nice to team up with him,'” said Williamson. “God blessed me with another opportunity. I was a man, super delighted. Always delighted.

Williamson had been on the Denver practice squad for only a week when his agent texted Titans general manager Jon Robinson wanted him on the Tennessee roster. The Titans have had a few inside linebackers struggling with injuries and needed help. It couldn’t have made the Milan, Tennessee native happier.

Add in the fact that the Titans are a winning franchise, it’s even better. Williamson only had one winning season before leaving for free agency.

“The Titans are doing amazing things now,” said Williamson.

BREE IN CAMPBELL

Dan Campbell, Detroit’s winless coach, said former NFL quarterback Drew Brees contacted him after the Lions’ last loss last Sunday.

“He texted me to let me know how impressive it was,” recalls Campbell. “It was like, ‘My God, man, these guys are fighting. These guys don’t give up. They are fighting. He says,’ You’re close. ‘

Campbell and Brees became close in New Orleans, where Campbell was the assistant head coach for the last five seasons of the quarterback’s playing career.

“I probably wouldn’t be standing here without Drew Brees,” Campbell said.

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AP Pro Football writers Barry Wilner and Teresa M. Walker, and sports writers Brett Martel and Larry Lage contributed.


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