Patrick Willis may have staged a two-day football camp this weekend for local youth, but he was looking like the biggest kid on the field as he took part in the 2012 Duracell Patrick Willis Football ProCamp at Palo Alto High School.
The All-Pro linebacker – or “Coach Willis” to the campers – bounced from field to field over the weekend and even took some snaps under center. He also tossed a few long touchdown passes and could be seen running down the field to join his campers in celebration.
“It was a lot of fun out there,” Willis said. “Anytime you get the opportunity to come back and give back, it’s a great feeling. Without these guys I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
Hundreds of young local football players took part in the camp, which was also attended by Willis’ teammates like second-year fullback Bruce Miller. Seeing his fellow 49ers giving back to the community was especially appreciated by Willis.
“We’re brothers and we’re always trying to do things that are going to better ourselves and better other people,” Willis said. “I was happy to have them out here.”
Following a morning session of individual drills and football workouts, campers were split into teams and scrimmaged each other before Willis and Duracell handed out camp awards to wrap up the day.
Aside from being a fun time it was also a reflective one for Willis, as he couldn’t help but think about his childhood football memories.
“When you play football for a living, it becomes more of a job,” Willis said. “At the end of the day, though, you’ve always got to keep it in perspective. You’ve just got to keep it fun and relaxed, because that’s what got you here. We definitely did that today.”
The weekend camp wrapped up a busy weekend for Willis, who also drove around with Duracell to “power up” San Francisco on Friday, doing chores and other odd jobs around the city. Willis’ duties included walking someone’s Chihuahua, serving food to firemen, helping people unload the back of a truck and giving a pep talk to a local company.
But Willis said the most nerve-racking episode came when he was packing groceries at Safeway.
“That was tough,” Willis said.
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