Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/17/12

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 14: Linebacker Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers runs off the field after defeating the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on December 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Patrick Willis might not have known who Matt Millen was a few days ago, but the San Francisco 49ers linebacker certainly knows about the former Pro Bowler now. Willis apologized Tuesday, a day after ripping Millen, now a football analyst, for comments Millen made that were critical of the 49ers' defense in the team's 26-3 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. "Yesterday kind of got to me," Willis said Tuesday. "A lot of times I don't have a lot to say on what other people say. It was my emotion coming out the day after a game. "I said things I shouldn't have said. I apologize for those things. I have all the respect in the world for the guys who played this game and played at a high level." A day earlier, Willis had said, "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 (NaVorro) Bowman and I do." Millen played 16 games in nine of his 12 NFL seasons, and he played 15 games in another season. As far as Millen's original criticism of Willis and 49ers linebacker Bowman, it wasn't extremely harsh. "A large part are those two 'backers," Millen said, "and they'll come back from this, but (Sunday) was not a good day for them. That's the worst I've seen those two play." Willis might have been more justified criticizing Millen's executive career. Millen ran the Detroit Lions' front office from 2001 through September 2008, and the team went 31-97 during his tenure.
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