Commanders fire position coach a month before season

The Washington Commanders just can’t have a normal week.

Head coach Ron Rivera announced the team fired defensive line coach Sam Mills on Tuesday, a little more than a month before the beginning of the 2022 season.

Mills was entering his 18th season in the NFL and third with Washington after coming over with Rivera from the Carolina Panthers in 2020. He is the son of former New Orleans Saints and Panthers linebacker Sam Mills, who was posthumously elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2022 after his death in 2005.

Rivera added that relieving Mills was “very difficult” because of his relationship with his family.

“I’ve known Sam a long time and he’s a very good football coach and I appreciate everything he’s done,” Rivera said Tuesday. “He helped us win a division our first year and just things got tough last year. But there are some things I felt I wanted to change.”

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A big week for NFL teams

This week also signals a shift for NFL teams as they head into the 2022 season.

No, we’re not talking about the first episode of this season’s “Hard Knocks” featuring Dan Campbell, Jamaal Williams and the Detroit Lions.

Between Thursday and Sunday, all 32 teams will play a preseason game and begin to coalesce as a unit. And with that come more important practices in the lead-up to some player’s first on-field action since January.

Sam Mills III will no longer be the Commanders’ defensive line coach. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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