San Francisco 49ers legend linebacker Patrick Willis is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here is why Willis deserves to make it into Canton.
49ers legend linebacker Patrick Willis belongs in the Hall of Fame
Anyone who watched Patrick Willis play as a member of the San Francisco 49ers remembers the ferocity with which he played the game.
He was an incredible tackler and played the linebacker position with a strength and skill that made opposing teams fear him.
Willis had impressive stats as well. In his career, he recorded 733 solo tackles, 217 tackle assists, and 60 tackles for loss. he also had 8 interceptions in his career with two pick sixes.
Those numbers are impressive, but they don’t speak to the fact that Willis was the heart and soul of the 49ers defense. This was especially true for the playoff teams led by Jim Harbaugh in the early 2010’s.
Along with NaVorro Bowman, Willis was in the middle of one of the most feared and talented defenses in the league.
Unfortunately, Willis’ career was cut short early due to a lingering toe injury. He decided to hang up the cleats in 2015 at the age of 30.
Undoubtedly, having a few more solid seasons on the field would have strengthened Willis’ Hall of Fame case. The fact he retired somewhat early has factored into the minds of voters.
But it is worth remembering that Willis was seen as being in the same conversation as Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis for the best linebackers in the league.
He never had the same name recognition nationally as those two, but that should not prevent Willis from getting in the Hall of Fame.
Even if it takes time for Willis to make it, 49ers fans who watched Willis play know that at his peak he was among the best linebackers, and arguably one of the best players, in the game of football.
That is why he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.