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Singletary: Willis may go down as "one of the best"

P. Willis.jpgI remember the first time I watched Mike Singletary coach and Patrick Willis play.

It was 2007, at the Senior Bowl, and the NFL Network mic’d up Singletary, then an assistant head coach in San Francisco.  Singletary tutored Willis all week and liked what he saw.

Three years later, the two men are the faces of the 49ers franchise.  Willis’ $50 million contract extension means the linebacker will be around for a long time.

“I am very proud of what Pat has been able to accomplish.  He is the epitome of what a 49er is all about,” Singletary said Tuesday.  “Before it is all said and done, he may go down as one of the best to play the position.”

That means a lot coming a lot from Singletary.  In 2007, after Willis got off to a fast start, Singletary was asked to compare Willis to his idol Ray Lewis.

“You’re looking at a guy that has the right to be called a great player, and you’re comparing him to a kid that’s looking forward to being a great player. There’s a difference in that, and I think it’s exciting to watch the transformation,” Singletary said in October, 2007.

That transformation remains on schedule.

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56 Responses to “Singletary: Willis may go down as "one of the best"”
  1. 49erFaithful says: May 4, 2010 3:16 PM

    Funny praise since Singletary thought that Willis couldn’t make it in the NFL. McCloughan, the ex-GM, had to get on the table and scream at Singletary and Nolan to get them to look at Willis…
    Whatever his personal problems, McCloughan was pretty good at spotting talent hitting far more far more stars than duds in the top-three-rounds than most GMs. I just hope Balke is as good.

  2. Truman says: May 4, 2010 3:20 PM

    I’ve never seen a linebacker single handedly win a game, but patrick willis almost did against LSU in 06. Had it not been for a botched extra point, Ole Miss would have beaten us. Ever since then, I have maintained the position that Patrick Willis will be the greatest linebacker of all time.

  3. irishsamurai says: May 4, 2010 3:21 PM

    so a coach likes his player,and this week,wade says that dez is gonna be one of the best and now mike says willis is gonna be one of the best,crazy how these coaches say good things about their players

  4. ninerfan5 says: May 4, 2010 3:22 PM

    awesome!!! but cant we just sign him to a lifetime contract? lol

  5. 49erFanLivingInDallas says: May 4, 2010 3:25 PM

    McCloughan is going through a nast divorce, according to several “sources”. I don’t know how accurate that is but he did do a great job evaluating talent.
    Willis is such a beast, one of the few defensive players in the league that other defensive players get off the bench to watch play, thats saying a lot.

  6. Skinsfan23 says: May 4, 2010 3:26 PM

    49er faithful
    How did Alex Smith work out for you?

  7. DanSnyder says: May 4, 2010 3:27 PM

    no he won’t.

  8. ZwangZ says: May 4, 2010 3:28 PM

    your mother is one of the best

  9. Politely Stoned says: May 4, 2010 3:33 PM

    He’s good, but not quite as good as Jerod “Give me ham on five, hold the mayo” Mayo. I think the addition of Spikes and Cunningham will only improve the Patriots vastly underrated linebacker corps.

  10. City_Native says: May 4, 2010 3:47 PM

    SkinsFan…
    How did….
    Heath Shuler
    LaRon Laundry
    Jason Campbell
    Patrick Ramsey
    …work out for you?
    Go Niners!

  11. Niner Jeff says: May 4, 2010 3:50 PM

    Willis deserves every bit of this money and success. A great guy. BTW, check out who the niners defense compares in this draft analyzer: http://www.fantasyfootballstarters.com/draftAnalyzer.jsp
    A bit early but the game predictions are pretty solid.

  12. raiders177 says: May 4, 2010 3:51 PM

    Dudes a beast.

  13. EverybodyGotAIDS says: May 4, 2010 3:52 PM

    Jerod “Give me ham on five, hold the mayo” Mayo
    ________
    This confuses me. Ham on five? Perhaps Ham on Rye? Also, don’t you take off the last mayo, since that’s his last name?

  14. packers4life says: May 4, 2010 3:59 PM

    You are a pretty damn good linebacker if Mike Singletary thinks you could go down as one of the best.

  15. sf49 says: May 4, 2010 4:00 PM

    Skinsfan23:
    How did Rod Gardner, Patrick Ramsey, LaRon Landry, and Devin Thomas turn out?

  16. BigMikeSkinsFan says: May 4, 2010 4:00 PM

    hey City Native,
    how did signing Walt Harris and Nate Clements work out for you?

  17. patpatriotagain says: May 4, 2010 4:01 PM

    not LT, not Tippett.

  18. DcNinerFan says: May 4, 2010 4:07 PM

    Skinsfan23 – How’s all those amazing draft picks working out for you? Oh, yeah, forgot, the skins like to trade away draft picks en mas for over-priced, under-achieving washed up talent ALA the Faiders…
    City_Native – No worries, man, living here in Deadskin land gives me a unique perspective of ‘skins fans… they have a love hate relationship… they love the offseason, and hate the regular season and post season. Mostly because the offseason is their Super Bowl. They sure aint getting to the real one any time soon…

  19. RossyRoss says: May 4, 2010 4:18 PM

    I like how the 49ers fans talk trash. You people should be lucky to have a team that is .500. Win at least a playoff game before you people talk shit!

  20. 49erFanLivingInDallas says: May 4, 2010 4:18 PM

    @ BIGMIKESKINFAN
    Walt Harris worked out pretty well, he went to the pro0bowl his first year, not as an alternate either. Then the next year he had a decent year and then injuries caught up with him. I don’t regret signing Walt Harris as much as I regret signing Nate Clements… oh vey.
    @POLITELYSTONED—
    Mayo is nowhere near the LB willis is. Who else was in your “vastly underrated linebacker corp” last year? A bunch of senior citizens from a place called “sunset meadows” or something? I think the pats are rated right where they should be…. middle of the lower pack.

  21. City_Native says: May 4, 2010 4:19 PM

    @BigMikeSkinsFan…
    Actually not that bad. Correct me if Im wrong but wasnt it Clements and Harris as the cornerbacks when the Niners beat the Redskins at the end of ’08? Just checking…

  22. evrocka says: May 4, 2010 4:27 PM

    its amazing how delusional people are. tippett? mayo? you gotta be kidding me. of course he’s no LT, no one has or ever will be another LT. poor comparison, different positions. asked to do completely different things. steelers aren’t gonna be the only team with 6 SB for long…

  23. danlinker says: May 4, 2010 4:28 PM

    Cardinals fans know about this guy. He’s a beast. And with Singletary as his coach? limitless potential.

  24. DcNinerFan says: May 4, 2010 4:29 PM

    BigMikeSkinsFan – Walt Harris made the Pro Bowl the year we signed him, and has had 15 interceptions in 3 years (not bad, considering his age), a bargain for what we payed for him… Clemments, well, he’s a great run stopper, but is over priced, I’ll admit that. Hows that Haynesworth deal working out for you guys?

  25. Martin Keamy says: May 4, 2010 4:33 PM

    Hey any redskins fan ever:
    Good move with finally signing a Quarterback that fits your system…
    Good move for finally not signing some worthless player 100 M
    Good Move with getting Shanahan
    But the Browns will win more games this year.

  26. Mattchew182 says: May 4, 2010 4:39 PM

    McClouglin wanted to trade the pick used on Willis to the Bears for Lance Briggs. While everyone in Chicago was jumping up and down saying no I was like we can take Patrick Willis who could be better and not have to deal with anymore contract holdouts. Of course we know that we ended up keeping Briggs for 6yrs 36 million which is kinda a bargain plus we got the 49ers 3rd rd pick for tampering which we probably wasted because Angelo is an idiot. But all in all getting that kinda praise from Singletary doesn’t come without earning it. Willis is a badass and looking back I wish we made the trade and got Willis even though we all love Briggs. Now Singletary has a good D what should be an improved O Line good young wideouts and a stud TE but that whole QB position is still missing something it hasn’t had since Young / Montana. Or even Garcia who was at least competant. We know you used the 1st overall pick on him and want to get something outta him but passing on some good QBs in the 2nd rd was a mistake.

  27. City_Native says: May 4, 2010 4:44 PM

    RossyRoss…
    And you root for . . . ?

  28. roosterwes says: May 4, 2010 4:47 PM

    Willis
    453 tackles, 9 sacks, 4 int, 10 forced fumbles 70 yd touchdowns etc
    Mayo
    231 tackles, 1.5 sack, 2 forced fumbles
    YOU CAN’T EVEN DOUBLE MAYO’S PRODUCTION AND BE THERE.
    -You wish Jerod Mayo was Patrick Willis

  29. BigMikeSkinsFan says: May 4, 2010 5:15 PM

    @any niner fan taking credit for Walt Harris. He came out of DC and was playing out of his league at the time. How is he now?
    city native..beating the Skins of 08 isnt as big of a deal as you seem to think. And if that is what you base an 88 million dollar contract on youre not very money smart.

  30. Marvin49 says: May 4, 2010 5:17 PM

    For the life of me, I can’t understand why a Skin’ fan would be saying ANYTHING. It must be because of all those Super Bowls they’ve won recen…what? None? Really?
    Well then it must be because they have been the best team in their own division latel…..what? Dallas? New York? Philly?
    OOOOHHHHH…it must be because they’ve had so much success at the QB posit……what? Nobody? Really?
    Hrmmm…..maybe their just delusional?

  31. Marvin49 says: May 4, 2010 5:20 PM

    Mattchew182:
    I think you have your timeline confused a bit.
    The Niners wanted to trade for Briggs because they wanted to TEAM him with Willis in the middle.
    The Niners already had Willis.

  32. Marvin49 says: May 4, 2010 5:28 PM

    @bigmikeskinsfan
    Harris was playing VERY well for a few seasons until he tore his ACL before last season.
    As for the 88 Million…wow…at least get your facts straight. It was 8 years and 80 million, but he final year was already voided making it 7 years and more like 65 million. Additionally, Clements is a very solid player. He has trouble with speed recievers, but he is a very good all around CB.
    Is he worth 65 million? He is much more worth the 65 Million than Haynsworth was worth the 100 Million.
    I don’t have any problems with the Skins’, but it is completely beyond me why you guys think you have ANY legs to stand on here.

  33. djkeitse says: May 4, 2010 5:45 PM

    isn’t it kind of early to call him the greatest, injuries do happen, not to say i think he’ll get hurt, but lets wait and see

  34. Maximum Bob says: May 4, 2010 5:50 PM

    EverybodyGotAIDS says:
    May 4, 2010 3:52 PM
    Jerod “Give me ham on five, hold the mayo” Mayo
    ________
    This confuses me. Ham on five? Perhaps Ham on Rye? Also, don’t you take off the last mayo, since that’s his last name?
    A reference to the movie Airplane. “What’s our clearance, Clarence?”

  35. DcNinerFan says: May 4, 2010 5:52 PM

    BigMikeSkinsFan – You are so full of it, you know? Playing out of his league? You are just bitter that another team was able to get the most out of a player that the ‘Skins organization couldn’t. Like so many other players…

  36. DcNinerFan says: May 4, 2010 5:59 PM

    BigMikeSkinsFan – You are so full of it, you know? Playing out of his league? You are just bitter that another team was able to get the most out of a player that the ‘Skins organization couldn’t. Like so many other players…

  37. BigMikeSkinsFan says: May 4, 2010 6:06 PM

    yap yap yap marvin. you want to talk about recent super bowl wins? oh wait, you cant EITHER!!
    you want to talk divisional winnin…oh wait, strike TWO!
    lets see..hows your franchise QB? yeah, strike 3 and your eout.
    haynesworth at least made it so 2 players around him could get 10+ sacks. what has clements done besides eat up that big ol contract?

  38. nfcbeast says: May 4, 2010 6:08 PM

    Patrick Willis is a great player i got nothing against him but i dont know if he could be called one of the greatest ever…its not his fault though.
    The 49ers need to win more games so that his career isnt tarnished by such shitty records

  39. Bender12 says: May 4, 2010 6:09 PM

    Bigmikesinfan, you embarrass yourself every time you type.

  40. Y2Cale says: May 4, 2010 6:16 PM

    Pretty good endorsement from “one of the best” himself.

  41. Marvin49 says: May 4, 2010 6:26 PM

    @bigmikeskinsfan
    You sire are correct on every single count.
    Ya know what the difference tho is between you and me? I’m not on a Redskin response thread talkin’ trash.
    I don’t do so because the niners have sucked recently. Thats kinda my entire point. If your team sucks, don’t go to other team threads and talk trash.
    Go away.

  42. this class sucks says: May 4, 2010 6:57 PM

    @Politely Stoned
    You must be trolling to think Mayo is any where remotely close to Willis. Willis is stronger, faster, better, has better stats, does more, on a worse team. The only person in the league who compares to Willis is Lewis but (due to age) I think most people would take Willis over Lewis now. Mayo isn’t even top 5.
    1. Willis
    2. Lewis
    3. Farrior
    4. Pierce
    5. Puzluskni
    6. Urlacher
    I would say Takeo Spikes is probably better than Mayo.

  43. City_Native says: May 4, 2010 7:13 PM

    We had Redskins fans mysteriously show up on our thread and rip how we spend our money, draft picks, and quarterback play. Wow I have seen it all.

  44. comment_submission_error says: May 4, 2010 7:33 PM

    I’m no Niner fan, but Willis is a beast. Fast, smart, strong. No real flaws in his game.

  45. HellRelle24 says: May 4, 2010 7:40 PM

    being a jets fan i have to comment on this because a pats fan actually said mayo was better than willis.
    that is laughable…willis is an absolute MONSTER.
    mayo is good but i wouldnt even put mayo in front of David Harris who is easily the most underrated linebacker in the nfl. watch this guy sunday to sunday and tell me he isnt a top 3 middle linebacker in the nfl. he is an absolute beast to

  46. BigMikeSkinsFan says: May 4, 2010 7:46 PM

    hahahaha…a DC dude as a 9ers fan. how funny…almost as funny as your response.
    City Native..I jumped on your clowning of our players like you havent had your share of busts too. Including Clements and Harris.
    I think its funny that a team that drafted Alex Smith and paid him all that money while he rode the bench for a min paid player can talk ANY sort of trash about bad players.

  47. youngtorice says: May 4, 2010 8:09 PM

    Well for one the most laughable thing is the redskins had their heads so far up their ass, that they will still finish in 4th in the nfc east. While Campbell will end up having a better career even on a shitty team like Oakland. Haynesworth is a monster flop, along with evry one of the redskins 1st round picks in the last decade. Smith has been injured for 2 years, he wasn’t just riding the bench to hill. He still finished with better stats than half of the little golden boy qb’s everyone bows to lick their nuts. It also helps when he’s got receiving talent and protection. Lets see how much your mouth is running at the end of the season when those bulldozers are providing protection all the way to the divisional title and the skins are still last

  48. Mike in SF says: May 4, 2010 8:12 PM

    BigMikeSkinsFan – How did that Brandon Lloyd trade work out for you guys? Still pissed off that Mike Nolan fleeced you guys?
    Walt Harris was CUT by the Redskins and then he made the probowl the next year with the 49ers. Look it up. How is that a bust? Not many players get cut and then go on to make the probowl.
    Let us know how Haynesworth is working out on that $100M contract. Willis is STILL playing for much less. Patrick Willis > Haynesworth.

  49. NinerNation says: May 4, 2010 8:19 PM

    Wow, a lot of stupid posts here, even from Niner fans.
    Nate Clements- The last years of his contract are back-loaded, so he won’t be seeing 80 mil…not even close.
    As for his impact on the Niners, he has greatly help the pass-defense in his time here. His major weakness is his lack of speed…apart from that, he’s still a very good corner.
    Walt Harris- What’s wrong with Harris? He made the Pro Bowl with the Niners and was very dependable until he sustained an injury in a mini-camp.
    Alex Smith- Contrary to popular belief, he’s shown improvement in every aspect of his game every year he’s played. The problem with that is he’s had two season-ending shoulder surgeries because of the same injury. When he had the initial surgery, James Andrews screwed up and that led to the second surgery a year later.
    This year will mark the first time in his career that he won’t have to learn a new offense. Also, it appears that he’ll be playing behind a fairly solid O-line, which again, is something he’s never had.
    Overall, the Niners have a brighter outlook than the Redskins…so shut the hell up, and go back to worshiping your terrible, terrible team.

  50. youngtorice says: May 4, 2010 8:20 PM

    As far as Harris, since they signed him, He went to the PB, then was a PB alternate, then got injured not exactly a bust move, and he was dirt cheap. Exactly which one of the skins secondary did anything? thought so

  51. youngtorice says: May 4, 2010 8:28 PM

    And your coach you’re all thanking God for like he’s your next savior and he’s so great. Well he was a lackey under Bill Walsh. Bet that stings huh? All your faith riding on a qb past his prime and a coach that started with the team you are talking so much shit about.

  52. downsouth49er says: May 4, 2010 8:34 PM

    Wow the redskins make a trade for McNabb and now their “fans” have balls….get real asswhipes…you guys have been making a big splash via trades and free agency since Snyder took over and you have NOTHING to show for it, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING

  53. overkil2 says: May 5, 2010 9:23 AM

    “Martin Keamy says:
    May 4, 2010 4:33 PM
    Hey any redskins fan ever:
    Good move with finally signing a Quarterback that fits your system…
    Good move for finally not signing some worthless player 100 M
    Good Move with getting Shanahan
    But the Browns will win more games this year.

    The Browns? ROFLMAO. WTF have you been smoking?
    Did I miss something because last I checked, you don’t have a QB.

  54. .Vox Veritas. says: May 5, 2010 9:24 AM

    “Alex Smith- Contrary to popular belief, he’s shown improvement in every aspect of his game every year he’s played.”
    B-U-S-T.

  55. Giants Fans Love Deeez says: May 5, 2010 5:53 PM

    Im not a Skins or a 9ers fan but….
    Patrick Willis is a frigging animal. I’m not a stat buff but didn’t the guy lead the league in tackles every year since he’s been in? He’s a game changer, no doubt about it. I’d say he is the best LB in the league right now..just figuring in the age and stuff.
    The 49ers will win the west this year…I’m sure of that. Huge upgrades at O-line and I don’t care if they’re rookies. Could use some secondary help def but Mays should be good in the NFL. His coverage technique and everything will improve with an NFL coaching staff..LB’s are one of the better corps in the league and you got some great skill position players (Gore, Davis…Crabtree?) That being said your QB is pretty much an unproven waste of millions so far, but he has a MASSIVE upside and will do well over the next few seasons.
    The Skins aren’t any slouches. THeres alot of people hating on Landry but he’s very physical and uber talented. He smashes dudes and from what I see, he plays football at a high level. O line will improve with Williams and Shanahan. People say your backs are old but..not really. The Skins will prolly have two 1000 yard rushers this year. Could use a receiver and some secondary help of course, some young backers/o-linemen BUT you have Donny Mac. Super 5. He’s hands down better than any offensive player on the 49ers.
    Oh real quick Jerod Mayo..guy is an animal. Willis had a whole year on him so stats shmats. It’ll all pan out. We’ll see who the better backer is, it’s the NFL so what is certain? Both could come out and have career ending injuries in a couple weeks. Jerod is gonna be a staple of the Pats D for a decade, just like P Willy will be.

  56. unex8598 says: May 6, 2010 5:25 PM

    yeah… Jerod Mayo is better than patrick willis… is this guy serious?

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