Imagine Nick Bosa, but better. It’s possible, all he has to do is be a bit more prepared going into games during his second NFL season.
The 49ers defensive end told ESPN’s Nick Wagoner that while watching countless hours of film from last season, he might have been the only person able to find any flaws in his game.
While breaking down tape from just about every snap in 2019, except the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, it appeared he wasn’t faring well against teams who were double-teaming him. And rightfully so, but there was a stark difference for when he dealt with this and not.
As Wagoner points out, Bosa’s pass-rush win rate was 12th best in the NFL at 21.8 percent but was cut more than in half at 8.6 percent when he was double-teamed, tied for 53rd.
A pass rush is considered a win when the defender gets past the initial block in 2.5 seconds or less.
"You have to come in with a plan and not waste any rushes," Bosa told ESPN. "So that's one big thing."
Every second matters.
He’s also hoping to work on his hand usage in order to close the gap between him and the quarterback on every play.
"That's probably been the biggest emphasis for me, and I've been working that in walk-throughs and in drills all season," Bosa said. "A couple new moves that I might add, and those are the main things, really."
That’ll help. But so will the addition of Trent Williams, who he’ll get to work with every day in camp.
The seven-time Pro Bowl tackle is the perfect guy to hone his craft against, and the battles between the two so far have been described by 49ers insider Matt Maiocco as “must-see competition.”
Not to say Bosa wasn’t valuable last season with everything he was able to do.
He had a historical run in his rookie season with an 89.8 overall Pro Football Focus grade and recorded nine sacks and 25 quarterback hits which earned him the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award.
But as he'll be the first to tell you, he's still got plenty of room to grow. Imagine that.