The 49ers saw week in and week out just how hard it is to win games in the NFL with a decimated defensive line, especially one without top pass rushers.
That should change this season, as San Francisco again looks to ride its intimidating D-line all the way to the Super Bowl. A big key to those dreams becoming a reality is the health of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. It sounds like the dynamic duo should be good to go come Week 1, too.
"I'm expecting to see a lot of [Bosa]," Shanahan said Thursday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "I mean, he's been on a plan this whole way, coming back from his big injury and being ahead of schedule since the beginning. And he's gotten two weeks of practice in where he's been out here pretty hard.
"We didn't let him go in the preseason game, which wasn't too tough of a decision. His first year here, he didn't play in any preseason games either, and I thought he did pretty good as a rookie."
Bosa tore his ACL in the second game of the 49ers' season last year. He missed the remainder of the regular season and didn't see any game action in the preseason this year.
Shanahan also called Bosa "as prepared as any player I've been around," making it even more clear there shouldn't be anything holding him back against the Detroit Lions.
And then there's Ford, who played in just one game last season, dealing with back and neck issues.
Finally, Ford looks back to old self ahead of his third season with the 49ers.
"He stayed here all offseason," Shanahan said. "He did a ton of the right things. And we weren't sure until we got to training camp, but we brought him on slowly, he's been consistent with it and he's been out there each day. He's gotten a lot more in camp this year than he did last year, and he's looked great in practice. "So, our hope that we were going with now is more reality, because the way he looks out on the field, he looks like Dee Ford, and he didn't look that way in camp last year at this time. He kind of was just trying to tough it out. Now, he looks fresh, he looks good, he's feeling good, and hopefully he'll be able to carry that throughout the season.
"But, as of right now, it's a lot more than hope because we're seeing it with our own eyes."
Good luck to Jared Goff and all the other NFL QBs who have to face Bosa, Ford and the rest of the 49ers' defense this season.