Emptying out the notebook in Seattle …
• Opposing running backs might be surprised to learn that LB Patrick Willis is a regular laugh riot.
Maybe the modern-day Butkus isn’t exactly Letterman, but Mike Singletary referred to a largely unrevealed part of Willis’ personality on Friday. The subject was raised when Singletary was asked if Willis was becoming more outspoken as a leader.
“More and more every day. I’m finding out that he has quite the sense of
humor. That concerns me a little bit,” Singletary said with a laugh.
“It’s a wicked sense of humor.”
Later, Singletary was asked to
provide an example of Willis’ humor and he launched into a story from
that day. The Niners had a team meal Friday and Singletary and Willis
had discussed the proper protocol for such functions in the past.
Singletary told his players about the meal. And then got blindsided by
“So Pat, after I had finished talking about it, he says,
‘Can we bring our significant others?’” Singletary said. “And so it
really caught me off guard, because some of the athletes, when you talk
about significant others, there may be more than one showing up, and
that’s a very uncomfortable situation, and I want it to be a nice thing.
So he really caught me off guard and he and I talked about that
situation several times with how that can happen. So he just said before
I could come up with an answer, he said, ‘Coach, I’m just kidding. I’m
just kidding.’ So that’s one (example). Just, whoa, hello.”
Ted Ginn was asked Friday if it was hard to catch punts at a loud
stadium such as Qwest Field. And his answer had several reporters
scrambling for a dictionary. “Once you’re out there it’s kind of hard to
hear certain voices and things like that,” Ginn said. “It’s all one big
How do you spell blooblah (Blueblah? Bleublah?) Ginn was asked. “I don’t know,” he responded. “I said it, y’all write it.”
Since the appetite for third-string quarterback news is insatiable, a
tidbit on Troy Smith, who has been receiving a fair number of scout team
reps since his arrival this week. Singletary liked Smith because of his
reputation as a diligent student. And it appears Smith has done nothing
“He is a guy that is used to playing, so he’s
really been studying and busting his tail to try and learn the offense,”
Singletary said. “So you want to try and give him something, try and
reward him for his attitude. I mean, he’s really trying to pick up the
• An intriguing matchup in Sunday’s game is CB Nate
Clements against Seattle WR Mike Williams, the feel-good story of the
preseason. Williams, the 10th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft out of
USC, had ballooned to 270 pounds by the time he played with the Titans
in 2007, his third NFL team in three years. In three seasons with the
Lions, Raiders and Titans, the 6-foot-5 Williams had seven starts and 44
After two years of unemployment, he resurfaced this
summer at 233 pounds in Seattle with Pete Carroll, his coach at USC.
Improbably, Williams has earned a starting spot.
“This will be
the first time that I’ve faced him,” Clements said. “But just looking on
film, he earned it. I heard he worked out and lost a lot of weight. He
earned his position.”