Legend Patrick Willis Responds to 49ers Performance vs. Rams

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Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a tackle in 2011.

Ex-49ers star defender Patrick Willis tuned into San Francisco’s game against big rival Los Angeles Rams Sunday. The All-Pro linebacker live-tweeted his thoughts and responded to fans.

What he had to say on Twitter during Sunday’s 23-20 victory is notable, considering he’s had such a successful career.

Willis played in the NFL for eight seasons, spending all eight years in a San Francisco jersey. He wrapped up his tenure with 112 starts in 112 regular-season games and 950 total tackles.

Here’s a look at Willis’s live tweets, starting with praising the defense of course:

But, a lot of credit to the offense as well, especially wideout Deebo Samuel.

While he singled out Deebo, he claims he has no favorites.

P-Willis will be en route to Canton one day to give a speech, but he’s being patient about it. However, it better happen someday soon or Anthony Garcia would like to have a word.

Willis is bad at picking favorites.

T.he G.reatest O.f A.ll T.ime, that is.

Quick shout out to London.

He’s a Jimmie Ward fan too.

Some love to big T and little T.

Can’t forget about the rookie kids, especially Javon Kinlaw.

Taking a trip down memory lane and the final seconds.

At the end of the day, it goes far beyond football.

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Willis Retired During Prime of His Career

Willis retired prematurely after the 2014 season as he was still in the prime of his career. This sort of came to a shock across the league as Willis was banged up from injuries, sure, but he still had a bright future ahead of him.

In an interview with Yahoo Sports back in April, Willis opened up about his early retirement and why he cited ‘death is guaranteed’ as one of his reasons for stepping away from the field.

He didn’t look at it from the point of view that football would result in an early death as many other players have explained in the past. Willis looked beyond that.

“The NFL is going to end”, Willis explained. “You have to be prepared. I knew one day it would end. I didn’t know if that would be on my first play, the end of my third year or my eighth. For me, when the time came it was all about being honest. I didn’t want to hang around and collect checks. The money was good, but it was about being an athlete, having the passion.”

Willis vowed to himself that he would be honest when he ran out of his passion for the game, and he was. Getting beat up for money was no longer Willis’ passion, but helping the next generation was. So, he hung up his cleats forever.

Willis Has A Strong HOF Case

The only way Willis will be kept out of Canton is because he wasn’t in the league “long enough” but his case to be inducted is a lot longer than his career if that makes sense.

I won’t go into detail here, but just to reiterate that Willis is a five-time All-Pro and a seven-time Pro Bowler. He played eight seasons and the only time he didn’t receive a Pro-Bowl invite was because he played just six games before exiting the game forever.

That means, as a rookie linebacker, Willis earned a Pro Bowl invite.

To this day, his tackle numbers over his eight-season career still remain among the most on the all-time list. We’re talking up there with NFL greats like Ray Lewis who averaged 6.85 tackles a game in 17 seasons while Willis average 8.48 in his short tenure.

Willis made it clear he doesn’t care about Canton, really, though. He wasn’t playing for numbers. If he did care about a gold head statue, he’d still be suiting up.

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