"Some of the greatest memories in the history of our franchise have come from his passion, dedication and sacrifice.". The only defensive players since the league's 1970 merger with longer streaks to start their careers were Lawrence Taylor (10) and Derrick Thomas (nine). Early Specialization vs. Willis, in burgundy pants and a plaid shirt untucked with a loose tie, held a tissue in hand and regularly wiped his eyes. Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis is making his way into the tech industry. Congrats on a GREAT career man! Willis, who retired last season at age 30, is now working with a Silicon Valley startup called Open Source Storage, a company that provides storage and infrastructure solutions for other companies. "Nothing but respect for Mr (at)PatrickWillis52 We been thru a lot together," free agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree tweeted. But Willis is done with football. Niazi had never seen a 49ers game, had no idea who Willis was, but thought he'd make a nice fit at his company. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, left, and linebacker Ahmad Brooks (55) celebrate during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. Chris Borland (left) had 18 tackles against the Rams, but he’s filling in for a linebacker corps that would seem impossible to unseat when Patrick Willis and others return to the lineup. In this Dec. 1, 2013 file photo, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis celebrates after sacking St. Louis Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens during the fourth quarter in San Francisco. When he was 10 years old, he picked cotton in Tennessee to provide for his younger siblings. NFL Week 7 takeaways: Big days for Baker, Rodgers -- but not the Cowboys, It's time for these two-win Cowboys to make some bold changes, Tight end Evan Engram, Giants could both benefit from trade, How can the Eagles unlock Carson Wentz? Contact her at katie.dowd@sfgate.com. FOOTBALL Here's Why, The Denver Broncos, John Elway and Twitter Universe Destroy the Raiders After Misguided Tweet, Peyton Manning on His Retirement: 'People Tell Me I'm Going to Miss Football, But I Got My Fill', Ezekiel Elliott Owes Cardale Jones Some Money After Signing His Rookie Contract With the Cowboys, WATCH: Steph Curry Knows His 3-Pointer is Good, Stares Down Serge Ibaka Instead of Watching It, Running Back Got a Tattoo of Himself in a Memphis Uniform, Now He's Transferring, Former NFL Running Back Jahvid Best is Hoping to Run the 100-Meter Dash in the 2016 Olympics, WATCH: Celebrity 'Jeopardy!' I've been so humbled to have played this game. I'm happy today, more happy today than the day I was drafted.". | Not a nicer guy out there!" Patrick Willis, retired 49ers star, is now an executive VP at a tech startup. "In my head, I'm already a Hall of Famer," Willis said. ". The NFL defensive rookie of the year in 2007 after being drafted 11th overall out of Mississippi, Willis started 112 games and had 950 tackles with 20½ sacks in eight seasons. "Without a doubt the greatest man/leader/friend/teammate (at)PatrickWillis52 my hero!" "That's a different man. Willis, who retired last season at age 30, is now working with a … "I don't want to rest on what I've done and let that keep me from doing what I want to do," he told Laird. The 49ers won 22-17. 376.5k Followers, 327 Following, 220 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Patrick Willis (@thewhinkersmind) Patrick Willis: Pos: LB, Career: 112 G, 2 TD, 5xAll-Pro(1st), 7xProBowl, 49ers 2007-2014, born TN 1985 49ers LB Patrick Willis retires after 8 years, 49ers lose Samuel, Wilson for multiple weeks, Cowboys DC feels heat after hot sauce mishap, Source: Cards RB Drake likely out a few weeks, Seahawks' Carson week-to-week with foot sprain, Gase backs Darnold after QB's clunker vs. Bills, McCaffrey returns to practice field; status still iffy, 'Embarrassed' Cam admits job may be in jeopardy. "On behalf of the entire San Francisco 49ers organization, my family, and our Faithful fans, I would like to thank Patrick for everything he has brought to this team and our community," 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. His tender, size-13 feet -- "12½ when they're bent" -- can no longer handle the grind of NFL practices let alone the demands of game day. San Francisco is losing its defensive captain and locker room leader, the player who often addressed the team before games with inspirational pep talks. San Francisco 49ers' linebacker Patrick Willis, comments his retirement during a press conference at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Ca. "I don't want to rest on what I've done and let that keep me from doing what I want to do," Willis told Mashable. I've never heard Pat Willis complain.". Meet the Juggernaut of the Premier League, The Pro Factory: How Ohio State's WR Room Churns Out Beasts, USC Fans Freaking Out Over What Could Be Their Worst Recruiting Class Ever, Cristiano Ronaldo Jumped Like Michael Jordan on His Latest Wonder-Goal, Get Ripped With This Unconventional Barbell Workout, How to Choose the Right Private Coach for Your Youth Athlete. Two months after retiring from the NFL, Willis became a full-time employee at OSS. Early Sampling: Which is Better? "I have no regrets. 52. | Willis also had eight interceptions -- two returned for touchdowns -- 16 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 53 passes defensed. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images). "Still have a chipped tooth from (at)PatrickWillis52 knocking me out. Sometimes he takes video calls from home, or instant messages with colleagues after hours.". Pat changed a lot of lives here. The Best Strength and Power Superset for Athletes, Playing Multiple Sports Helped Patrick Mahomes Become the NFL's Most Magical QB, Why Nutrition Isn't About Making the 'Perfect' Choice, Quick Cues to Clean Up Your Kettlebell Swing, A Peloton Bike Probably Won't Get You Your Dream Body. Patrick Willis (52) is likely to be back to give Rams quarterback Austin Davis problems in a Nov. 2 rematch. Patrick Willis had a great NFL career. Late Monday, Willis posted on social media a message that hinted at his farewell from football and included a series of references to bible verses. It wasn't until he was taken in by his high school basketball coach that Willis had a stable home environment. "I'm a person that can't speak about something until I've done it myself.". "I am leaving this with closure. San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis (52) against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. "He redefined his position," coach Jim Tomsula said. For linebacker Patrick Willis, his favorite memory of Staley was his first. Patrick Willis intercepts a pass intended for Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half at AT&T Stadium on September 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. PATRICK WILLIS. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez). "For me, this is an opportunity to be able to tell young kids that you can be more than just a physical specimen to be great," Willis said to Mashable's Sam Laird. March 10: The heart and soul of the 49ers, linebacker Patrick Willis, shocks the fanbase by announcing his retirement. OSS CEO Eren Niazi happened to be Willis's neighbor and saw Willis struggling with some bags outside his house shortly after having surgery. Join STACK and gain instant FREE access to resources that have helped millions of people jump higher, run faster, get stronger, eat smarter and play better. Think LeBron James, Frustration builds for Jets' Sam Darnold, whose time is running out, Drew Lock's ride is getting rocky: 'I can play a whole lot better', Fantasy football waiver wire for NFL Week 8: Gio Bernard, Carlos Hyde among top pickups, Fantasy football highs and lows from NFL Week 7: Burrow, Herbert put talent on display, UNLV will be 1st to have fans at Raiders' stadium, Todd Gurley mistake, missed PAT produce big swings at sportsbooks, Bucs adding Antonio Brown all about maximizing Tom Brady's window, NFL trade deadline tracker: Latest deals, rumors and everything we're hearing, Willis' feet did walking, talking for 49ers. Willis had missed six games in his career before this latest injury sidelined him for the final 10 games of 2014 for San Francisco, which struggled to an 8-8 finish without him and missed the playoffs for the first time in four years. The coolest man in Silicon Valley is definitely Patrick Willis. Here's What a Full Day of Eating Looks Like for Cristiano Ronaldo, The Stockton Drill: Inside the Utah Jazz's Hellacious Conditioning Test, Liverpool's Assistant Manager Reveals Their 'Secret of Training', Erik Spoelstra Drops a Truth Bomb Explaining Why Jimmy Butler is a 'Max Player', Who is Adama Traoré? Topics: I am so humbled to have had this opportunity. Pat will change a lot of lives. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven NFL seasons. And as he starts his career in the tech field, he only wants to look ahead. SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 05: Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on October 5, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. Katie Dowd is the SFGATE Managing Editor. Niners linebacker Patrick Willis induces the Chiefs’ Travis Kelce to drop a pass thrown his way in the second quarter.

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