Patrick Willis apologizes to Matt Millen

AP

With some time to think about it, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis wishes he hadn’t lashed out at Matt Millen.

Millen, the former NFL linebacker, former Lions president and current TV analyst, said in a radio interview that Willis played the worst game Millen had ever seen him play in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. When Willis heard about that, he ripped Millen in an interview on the same radio station. But on Tuesday Willis told reporters that he respects Millen.

“I probably said some things that I probably wouldn’t say,” Willis said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “I apologize for those things and I have all the respect in the world for those guys that have played this game before me and have played it at a high level.”

Millen was a second-round pick of the Raiders in 1980 and played 12 NFL seasons with the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins. He was a two-time All-Pro and won four Super Bowl rings.

45 responses to “Patrick Willis apologizes to Matt Millen

  1. I like Willis and consider him to be the successor to my personal favorite Ray Lewis.

    Having said that though I doubt Ray Lewis would be so ignorant about NFL history. Say what you will about Matt Millen the G.M. and announcer, he was one heck of a NFL player. Patrick Willis could learn a thing or two from those who came before him.

  2. while your at it Patrick, make sure you apologize to the fans of San Francisco for that putrid display of what you consider to be pro football last Sunday afternoon.

    This team has a lot to learn if they ever want to take that next step and a good start would be its head ciach and pkayers acting a lot less like Rex Ryan and more like Tom Coughlin. You know all Class.

    All In…

  3. I hate to generalize, but the modern day athlete is so sensitive to criticsm. For some reason, they don’t think anyone can or should analyze and critique their game. And if you do, you automatically must be a “hater.” A “hater” is someone who just rags on someone with no substantive evidence of why they offering a particular critique. This isn’t just about Willis, but a great number of these athletes have been told how great they are for so long that when someone legitimately points out a flaw or a bad game, they can’t take it. It’s pretty sad and annoying. Just one man’s opinion.

  4. He did the right thing and apologized like a man, athlete or not. He didn’t have to, but rather chose to. At least he admitted he was wrong and apologized unlike 80% of the people in the world. That takes guts in itself.

  5. As a true Seahawks fan… I hope Willis and the rest of the team have one more….real bad game!

    See ya all on Thursday where the 49er receivers can meet the 2012 version of the Legion of Boom!

    js

  6. Matt Millen should not be criticizing Willis. Even if Willis played poorly, Matt Millen single-handedly destroyed a franchise and wasted the careers of at least 53 players. Why Millen is even a commentator for any sports network is beyond me. He might know how to hit hard, but he doesn’t know talent if it kicked him in the face.

  7. Apologize??? In the 70’s defenses were tough and wouldnt dream of an apology..so damn soft nowadays. For god sakes grow a pair and stand by your comments wuss!!!

  8. “I probably said some things that I probably wouldn’t say,” Willis said

    Good luck after football, Willis.

  9. I bet Pat Willis just got ahold of some epic yuutuube footage of Matt Millen destroying the seahawk-including NFC west back in the 80’s (real deal, search it up) and just got a massive dose of wardrobe envy.

    Seriously, it’s between Matt Millen, Todd Christiansen, and David Bowie as Jereth from The Labryinth for Best Intentional Wardrobe Fail of the 1980’s.

    I loved Matt Millen as a front office guy, except… the guy who once blew up fullbacks at the point of attack like no other, that’s your pick for who evaluates your draft picks? Er, Ok there Ford fandamily.

  10. treesloth16 says:
    Oct 17, 2012 6:26 AM
    Matt Millen should not be criticizing Willis. Even if Willis played poorly, Matt Millen single-handedly destroyed a franchise and wasted the careers of at least 53 players. Why Millen is even a commentator for any sports network is beyond me. He might know how to hit hard, but he doesn’t know talent if it kicked him in the face.

    ————————————————-

    @treesloth16

    Hey Toolbag, get a clue Millen was a top commentator before he took the GM in Detriot and it didn’t work out doesn’t mean he isn’t qualified to talk about another players poor play on the field. Say what you want him as a GM, but as a player he was one of the best while he was playing and his 4 rings prove that.

    So in you stupid theory Michael Jordan can not comment on any basketball player since he has run 2 organizations into the ground… see how stupid you sound…..

  11. Let’s be brutally honest…If Matt Millen played today in his prime, he still wouldn’t be a hall of fame player. The guys in the league today are bigger, stronger, and faster. Millen would have never been able to cover ground like Willis. Imagine Willis playing in his era. He’d be the best linebacker of all time.

  12. The fact that Matt Millen’s job now is to analyze and critique players makes no sense to me… The man put together the WORST TEAM in NFL history, your judgement of talent is as useless as a poopy flavored lollipop.

  13. Good or even great players do not necessarily make good coaches, GMs, announcers, analysts, etc. Conversely, some of the best GMs, coaches and TV guys never played a snap of NFL ball.

  14. If you read it again it sounds like Willis is comparing his and Bowmans type of play to Millens. They have very different styles he’ simply saying try to play the position like we do and see if you can do it like we do. Mullen was good but he didn’t play like Willis and Bowman guys it’s the truth. He never said Millen couldn’t play the position he said I doubt you can play it like us and on a continuous basis like us and hold up. Millen never played the position like them point blank. He never played all three downs oh and by the way Bowman is also on the special teams unit as well.

  15. I’m glad P.Willis apologized. That is why you don’t speak out of anger and frustration. Millen was a great player, solid commentator, putrid GM and (again) solid commentator….. even if he wasn’t you shouldn’t get bent out of shape over what he says…just play and let history sort it out.

  16. I bet all the negative feed back about Willis is coming from the 40 and over crowd that refuses to give up the old days. MILLEN was no WILLIS and that’s that it’s not like your comparing Joe Montana to Aaron Rodgers people Joe didn’t have all these rules protecting him and the wide receivers like this era does. Let’s keep it real…and it’s only Matt Millen it’s not like it’s Dick Butkus he was talking about lol.

  17. @justaiken;
    I don’t think that todays atheletes are over sensitive to criticism, i believe that they are over criticized.
    There is WAY TOO MUCH “analysis ” of every minute detail today, from every networks, pre, mid, post game show, yo thousands of websites, where any fool can say whatever comes to mind (while hiding behind a screen name)
    I mean have you ever watched. Tony rome, followed by around the horn, followed by pti? They all talk about the exact same thing.
    So i ask, how would any of us react if we were subjected to the same?
    If i get arrested for dtunk drivong, would you care, or better yet, is it even any of your business?

  18. Matt Millen sucks as a commentator and is even worse as a GM. And really, who gives a crap what he did over twenty years ago? Willis is right, he couldn’t play a full season in today’s game even when he was in his prime. Screw Matt Millen.

  19. dkphilly1122 says: Oct 17, 2012 6:18 AM

    He did the right thing and apologized like a man, athlete or not.
    —————————————————————-
    To start, Willis lashed out at Millen like a petulant child at the slightest criticism. It wasn’t even BAD criticism. Millen just said he had a bad game. So Willis acts like a child, gets busted, and then makes a public statement.
    He says “I probably said some things that I probably wouldn’t say.” That is not apologizing “like a man,” as you say. That is apparently attempting to apologize like someone who has no absolutely no concept of the American English language. It is a non-apology apology, if you will.

    “Like a man” – America’s last attempt to hold on to some sense of chivalrous standards only to have it blown up and destroyed by the very athletes who perpetuate it.

  20. Dont bash Matt Millen, he knows exactly what he’s talking about. He lived it for 8 seasons as GM of Detroit by compiling the worst record in NFL history 31-97. Look at those numbers, he’s an expert at recognizing poor play.

  21. Listen, I am a Lions fan so I have absolutely NO LOVE for Matt Millen. But recognizing talent in a rookie versus watching a professional play in a game against other professionals is two entirely different things. One involves judgement of potential, the other involves analysis of action. Since Millen played professionally, he is qualified to breakdown film on a player and say whether or not he played well.

    I just wouldn’t trust him to tell me whether or not a college player would be good as a pro.

  22. zombiebuddha says: Oct 17, 2012 6:02 AM

    Translated: I Googled Matt Millen and realized that I sound stupid for saying that he could never play in the NFL.
    ——————————-
    Or someone at the 49ers facility walked Willis down the hall to the Super Bowl team pictures, pointed, and said, “THAT’s Matt Millen, son.”

  23. I don’t see what Willis has to apologize for. Matt Millens comments were stupid. First of all he and Navarro didn’t step on that field by themselves , the whole team was there. Secondly why does he have to play a bad game for the Giants to win. The Giants were able to neutralize he and Bowman. They are playing essentially a 5-2 most of the game. The Giants for the first time in a long time were able to fire off the ball and really make some headway in the running game. Also what the score doesn’t reflect is how many turnovers contributed to the defense being out there more than their average. When the 49ers whipped the Jets it was the same thing. Everyone talked about how the beat up the Jets in the running game. They had more opportunities and Gore started getting big rips later in the game when the Defense was tired from being on the field too long. Willis shouldn’t apologize. Millen although good then would not be able to do what some of these players nowadays can do with the extended season and offseason .

  24. no Matt Millen fan as a gm..but he never missed a pick like Mike Tice did….
    BTW would someone please get Harbaugh to close that flipping Fly trap under his nose!

  25. Lost in all of this is how incredibly thin-skinned players of this era seem to have become, lashing out and anyone and everyone who dares criticize them.

    Why can’t a player just say “he’s entitled to his opinion” just once?

  26. I can’t believe the people that are saying Matt Millen was a top commentator before he got the GM job with Lions. Did you actually WATCH the games he did? As a Packer fan, I got stuck with that idiot doing what seemed like almost every single one one of our games that was on Fox and it was unbearable. He couldn’t go 10 minutes without making a 3 stooges reference, and rarely added any useful insight. This guy, Paul McGuire, and Joe Theismann are all at the same level.. Terrible.

  27. As misplaced as his comments were I applaud his ability to apologize without any disclaimers and none of the usual “I stand by what I said” bs even when he was wrong.

    Good on him.

  28. flipside715 says:
    Oct 17, 2012 8:09 AM
    Let’s be brutally honest…If Matt Millen played today in his prime, he still wouldn’t be a hall of fame player. The guys in the league today are bigger, stronger, and faster. Millen would have never been able to cover ground like Willis. Imagine Willis playing in his era. He’d be the best linebacker of all time.
    **************************************************
    No, you don’t know because you weren’t around.

    Millen was so smart and so prepared, that the Raiders made him the captain of the defense in his rookie year.

    Players like Ted Hendricks and Lester Hayes were listening to Matt Millen. Millen was also a full sized backer at 6′ 2″ 250 lbs, at a time when players were smaller.

    The guy was a great player and a great teammate.

    Lets be brutally honest, lol.

  29. Hey I give Willis props for manning up and admitting he screwed up it happens to the best of us. The niners should stop caring what other people say and think about em . they have to learn to shake off the media and other teams (coaches) criticism and trash talk . Attention to Fine details is what make san fran good, and stuff like this is a distraction and thats what took their focus away before they played ny. With that said I cannot wait to see the niners hawks game tomorrow. Should be hard hitting and a good divisional game. Go hawks

  30. bgc_HOOSIER says:Oct 17, 2012 5:51 AM

    … As well as running Detroit into the ground.

    ==================================

    I’d agree that Millen is at fault for running the lions into the ground.

    I don’t however thinks it fair to blame Millen for the mess that is the city of Detroit.

  31. Millen is terrible as an analyst. I don’t care what the media says, he’s just horrible. I mute the tv anytime he’s on now because 90% of what comes out of his mouth is lame jokes or nonsense.

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