Patrick Willis praises the defense


Patrick Willis spoke for a few minutes after practice. He had big praise for two of the starting linebackers, and for a surprise backup cornerback as well.

Here’s a transcript of that interview.

Q: Would you say the team has worked harder this year than last year?

WILLIS: I would probably say so. With Coach Harbaugh, everything we do is quick tempo. It’s his way of getting our conditioning in, but also our way of being fast on every play and beating the clock.

Q: How has NaVorro Bowman been playing?

WILLIS: NaVorro’s been playing extremely well, which I expected. He’s a tremendous athlete, a guy with a lot of talent. It’s a blessing to be able to play beside him. Each day that we have an opportunity to work together it’s great. We’re going to continue to build what we have now and make it even stronger.

Q: What’s he like off the field?

WILLIS: He’s good, NaVorro’s a good man. He’s been my roommate this whole training camp. The only thing I can probably say bad about him is that he snores like a beast. Other than that, he’s a hard worker. We’re always working with each other every day, whether we’re tired or not. We’re going to get a lift or we’re going to do something that day, and that’s just the type of player he is.

Q: How’s Kaepernick been looking from your point of view?

WILLIS: Kaepernick looks good. He’s still a rookie so he’s still growing in that aspect, but every day, each opportunity he’s had to come out here, he’s really getting in tune with what the coaches want. I talk to him back and forth at the line of scrimmage. I’ll tell him, “You’re going to throw us a pick.” I just try to rattle hi head a little bit, but he’s a good kid too.

Q: Vic Fangio has talked about making you more of a pass rusher. Is that exciting for you?

WILLIS: Yeah, Coach Fangio, I like the defense that he has in place for us. Opportunity awaits us all, from every position. So when that opportunity comes, you have to capitalize on that. I’m not going in there saying, “Coach, I want to rush, I want to rush, I want to rush.” But if he calls my number I want to be able to get the job done in any aspect. That’s my focus.

Q: Do you think you can get the job done?

WILLIS: I do. I never want to a one dimensional guy. I want to be a complete linebacker. Being a good pass rusher will make me an even better linebacker.

Q: Who else has impressed you in camp?

WILLIS: Ahmad (Brooks) is having one heck of a camp. He’s a guy that’s been with us going on three years now, and he’s an extremely talented athlete as well, but he’s been making a lot of plays this camp. Tramaine Brock at cornerback, wow, he’s having a heck of a camp as well.


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