Commanders’ Rivera on firing of Mills III: ‘Just a difference in philosophy’

The Washington Commanders fired defensive line coach Sam Mills III, head coach Ron Rivera announced on Tuesday.

Assistant defensive line coach Jeff Zgonina will take over the position.

“I made a change on the coaching staff. I relieved Sam Mills III of his duties,” Rivera said. “Just a difference in philosophy for the most part, and we’ll go from there…

“Just some observations, and to me, it was I just felt it was a change that I needed to make, feeling there was a little bit of difference in the philosophy.”

When asked what the differences in philosophy were, Rivera said, “I’m going to keep that to myself.”

Mills is the son of Hall of Famer Sam Mills Jr., who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last Saturday in Canton, Ohio. He has been with the Commanders since 2020. Mills held a few coaching positions with the Panthers since 2005 and was with Rivera when he became the team’s head coach in 2011.

The 44-year-old was named defensive line coach in Carolina in 2018 and held the job until Rivera was fired in 2019.