San Francisco 49ers star Patrick Willis may be an All Pro linebacker… but that doesn't make him an NFL scholar or even someone aware of the most disastrous GMs in the league's history. Willis was confronted with criticism of his team's heavy home loss to the New York Giants from an unlikely source – ESPN college football analyst Matt Millen.
Millen had been on the radio in San Francisco on 95.7 The Game and said Willis and teammate NaVorro Bowman played their worst game together against the Giants. Willis appeared later on the same station and was given a chance to respond to Millen's critique as recorded by Sports Radio Interviews. Given Millen's reputation (he is the current Pammies leader after all), maybe it's worth taking what he has to say with a grain of salt. But, if there's one thing he should theoretically know well, it's linebacker play. He was a former All Pro LB after all, much like Willis.
But instead of acknowledging the criticism and moving on, Willis took a shot at Matt Millen. And missed.
Matt Millen came on our show this morning and said the loss against the New York Giants was the worst game you and NaVorro Bowman have played together. Is that a fair assessment?
“[Laughs] Oh man it’s like what it is with anything. We went in and everybody is on your bandwagon when you are playing good. Everybody has everything positive to say and when you don’t do well, they got everything critical to say. For us, we are going to continue to do the things we need to do and that’s play football. Every game is not going to be a perfect game. Every game is not going to be your best game. It’s business. At some point in time you gotta come down and at some point in time you got nowhere to go but up, and [Sunday] just wasn’t a good day for us across the board, but that’s part of the game. … And whoever this Matt Millen guy is, I’d like to ask him if he could do what we do every day and do what we do for 16 games a year and see if he can hold up every game. I doubt he would. I doubt he would be able to consistently play at a high level as Bowman and I do. I really don’t care about what this guy has to say. “
Whatever you think about Matt Millen's analytical or drafting skills, there is one thing that's not questionable. He did play 16 games a year in the NFL often. 9 times as a matter of fact. And he did it consistently at a high level, winning three Super Bowls and being an All Pro linebacker himself. The host had to politlely correct Willis that Millen in fact played for the 49ers and won a Super Bowl with the team. It's all well and good for Patrick Willis to try to brush off the criticism of Matt Millen, but don't go and pull a Millen yourself!
UPDATE: Willis has already apologized to Millen.