49ers' Nick Bosa breaks out brass knuckles as teammates pile on praise

49ers' Nick Bosa breaks out brass knuckles as teammates pile on praise

SANTA CLARA -- Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa earned an award that he cherished for his dominating performance Monday night in the 49ers’ 31-3 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

No, not the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. He received that, too.

"I couldn't care less," Bosa said of the league-wide award. "I"m just trying to keep playing, keep winning."

But on an upper shelf at Bosa’s locker, he reached up to show off gold-plated brass knuckles and an accompanying placard signed by each of the 49ers’ other defensive linemen.

The team’s defensive line coach, Kris Kocurek, presented Bosa with the award for best representing the theme of the week. Bosa emerged as the winner of the 'Brass Knuckles Street Fight' honor, which referred to the mindset Kocurek wanted his linemen to play with against the Browns. The theme changes every week.

Bosa registered two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery Monday night at Levi's Stadium. He also forced Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield into an intentional grounding penalty.

Bosa emphasized he used revenge as a motivating factor from his college days at Ohio State, when Mayfield went to the Buckeyes’ home field and planted a University of Oklahoma flag on the field after leading the Sooners to a victory.

“It was a real thing,” Bosa said. “We wanted some revenge there. All the older guys hit me up and said good job.”

Bosa said a lot of his Ohio State teammates, including New Orleans defensive back Marshon Lattimore, and defensive linemen Tyquan Lewis (Indianapolis), Jalyn Holmes (Minnesota) and Tracy Sprinkle reached out to congratulate him for his own flag-planting gesture.

Bosa has certainly not eased into his first quarter-season in the NFL after arriving as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. Bosa and DeForest Buckner are tied for the team lead with three sacks. But Bosa said he does not believe opponents will be able to devote any more resources toward blocking him because of the 49ers’ other defensive linemen. 

“That can’t really last too long because we have three other guys who can win one-on-one and get to the quarterback,” Bosa said. “So if they want to chip me and slide to me, that’ll free up Arik (Armstead) one-on-one with a guard, and I’ll take that every day.”

Against Los Angles in Week 6, Bosa will be matched up mostly against a player on the other end of his career. Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth in June announced he opted against retirement to return for his 14th NFL season.

“He’s a savvy vet. ... Some of the nuances he uses are similar to Joe [Staley],” Bosa said of Whitworth. “He’s smart. He knows how to hold you up for that little extra second when the quarterback needs it. It’s the small things he does that I need to adapt to.”

Bosa said he will enter the game with the same street-fight mindset. He said he wants to assert his physicality and aggressiveness from the first snap of the game.

“It opens up my fastballs that I throw later in the game, so I think my approach is the same but there are a couple moves that you work on throughout the week where you see a weakness and you try to exploit it,” he said.

[RELATED: Baker chirps Bosa for waiting two years for flag-plant troll]

One thing Bosa will be lacking this week is the added motivation from a personal grudge against Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

“I’ll be fine,” Bosa said.

Bosa was asked if Goff has done anything to anger him.

“Not yet,” he replied.

49ers post Jimmy Garoppolo throwback ahead of 2020 virtual graduation

49ers post Jimmy Garoppolo throwback ahead of 2020 virtual graduation

During this unprecedented time, it’s not only sports that have taken a hiatus. This time of year, graduates of various schools will not be able to participate in the usual ceremonies we’re used to. 

The 49ers wanted to take it into their own hands by hosting a virtual graduation ceremony to honor the Class of 2020. 

And in order to get in the spirit of things, the team tweeted out an old school photo of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. It didn’t disappoint.

Oh yeah, check out that puka shell necklace. Never leave home without it.

The team also gave out superlatives to various players. Jimmy G was the “Best Smile,” of course with Mike McGlinchey voted “Most Likely to win American Idol.” That probably has to do with that one time he did carpool karaoke with recently retired tackle Joe Staley.

Speaking of, Staley will be one of the commencement speakers at the ceremony.

[RELATED: George Kittle deserves to get paid]

Country music star Tyler Rich will be performing as well.

The virtual ceremony for all levels of graduates will be streamed on 49ers.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Enjoy NaVorro Bowman's birthday by reliving iconic 'Pick at the Stick'

Enjoy NaVorro Bowman's birthday by reliving iconic 'Pick at the Stick'

If NaVorro Bowman gets a birthday present half as good as the going-away gift he gave Candlestick Park, he's in line for a memorable day.

The former 49ers linebacker turned 32 on Thursday, just shy of a year after announcing his retirement from the NFL. Bowman made three Pro Bowls and was First Team All-Pro four times during parts of eight seasons with San Francisco, but his most memorable moment in red and gold came on Dec. 23, 2013.

That day marked the 49ers' last game at Candlestick Park before moving to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, and Bowman sent the Niners' former home out with a bang. Bowman intercepted Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's pass and returned it 89 yards for a touchdown to seal the 49ers' 34-24 win on "Monday Night Football," giving the home of some of the most iconic moments in NFL history one last taste of glory with the "Pick at the Stick."

Bowman chose a good time for the first -- and only -- TD of his NFL career, clinching the 49ers' third straight playoff appearance with the return. To date, that streak is the 49ers' only stretch of (at least) three consecutive postseason berths this century.

[RELATED: Where Jimmy G ranks among NFL starting quarterbacks]

The linebacker's 49ers career was more than just one moment, however, and Bowman was pivotal in the 49ers' 2010s resurgence. NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco named Bowman one of the five best Niners of the decade, and San Francisco's run of three straight NFC Championship Game appearances simply doesn't happen without Bowman's steadiness.

What do you get the man who gave the 49ers everything? I don't envy his friends and family trying to buy presents.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]