Best Middle Linebackers in NFL History


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12-T) Sam Mills

Teams: Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers
Years: 1983-97

Same Mills was under appreciated throughout his career. Despite his performance on the field, he was always overlooked due to his 5’9 height. Once Mills did get a shot, where ever he played, it became obvious that he played far bigger than his frame.

Mills started his career in the USFL, because NFL scouts doubted his size to play the position. All Mills did with his opportunity in the USFL was win back-to-back championships with the Stars.

From there Mills followed his USFL coach, Jim Mora, to the New Orleans Saints. While in the “Big Easy” Mills led one of the most feared linebacker corps in football history. Mills spear headed the group of Pat Swilling, Rickey Jackson and Vaughan Johnson. Wreaking havoc on opposing offenses around the league.

Despite the success of Mills and the Saint’s linebacking group, the rest of the New Orleans team floundered in mediocrity. Causing the Saints not to win a playoff game during Mill’s tenure, despite their tremendous defense.

Later in his career, Mills joined the expansion Carolina Panthers. Leading one of the best defenses in 1996 to within one win of Super Bowl XXXI. Mills had a long and productive career, earning five Pro Bowl nods. Nobody doubts his leadership skills or heart. Earning the undersized middle linebacker a spot on our list.

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About Vince Corcoran

Vincent played four varsity sports in high school instilling in him a respect for all sports and the athletes who play them. Vince was born and lived in his youth, overseas giving him a well rounded knowledge of many world wide sports. If you made him choose he would say that his biggest love would be college basketball but he is knowledgeable and maintains an interest in a variety sports.

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