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Patrick Willis Is Willing to Sacrifice Playing Time If it Means Getting the ‘W’

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Whether they were trying to or not, the San Francisco 49ers made a huge statement to everyone around the NFL on Sunday afternoon. The defending NFC West champs went into Lambeau Field against an extremely motivated and talented Green Bay Packers team that was trying to wipe the taste of last year’s playoff exit out of their mouth and the Niners put on a show. Offensively it could be argued that Alex Smith outperformed Aaron Rodgers and defensively, San Fran played about as well as a defense can play against Aaron Rodgers and one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. Many people were wondering whether the 49ers would take a step back after last year’s trip to the NFC Championship game. If Sunday in Green Bay is any indication, the 49ers look poised to take another deep playoff run. Patrick Willis joined 95.7 the Game in San Francisco with The Wheelhouse to talk about whether he is fine with coming out of the game as much as he did against the Packers, if he expects teams to use four wide receivers to try to take him off the field more, what he thinks about the performance of the defense against Green Bay, what he thinks about the 49ers upcoming matchup against the Lions and what he thought about Vernon Davis’ failed touchdown celebration.

If he was okay with playing only 48 of the 72 defensive snaps:

“Yessir, yessir. I’m perfectly okay with that. We got a ‘W’ so that’s all that matters.” “I’m not sure. We scout and we see what they’re capable of doing and we just try to put the best defensive package out there at that point in time. If it’s dime that needs to be out there to give us a better chance then that is what we will run.”

How he thinks the defense played overall against the Packers:

“I think our defense played well. We obviously didn’t play a perfect game and that’s what we’re always striving to do is to have a perfect game. At the end of the day we just want to go out there and play the best defense we can play and to give our team the best chance to win and give our offense more opportunities to touch the ball and get back out there on the field.”

What he thinks about the upcoming matchup against the Lions:

“Right now I haven’t had an opportunity to scout them yet but everybody knows Calvin Johnson is there bell cow (Editors’s note: We think this is what he said here). He’s a guy that can stretch the field, make big plays for them so we’re really going to have to know where he is at all times. We have to make sure we try to get a team to be one dimensional and get after them in the pass game. We want to stop the run and make them pass. We have the guys up front to be able to get after the quarterback and make a move and get to them so it’s going to be a good game. We have a good week ahead of us to prepare for them and we will see on Sunday.”

What he thought about Vernon Davis’ failed touchdown celebration:

“I heard some people laughing and whatnot but I didn’t really know what they were laughing about at the moment. We actually got on him again today in the training room. We were just like ‘man why didn’t you just lay it up when you realized you weren’t going to be able to dunk it?’ Then we realized maybe he doesn’t have any basketball skills. He didn’t realize that when you go up for a dunk you don’t actually get the ball over the rim, you just do a little lay-up. I don’t think he played basketball in high school.”

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