SANTA CLARA — 49ers' first-round draft pick Nick Bosa was disappointed in not being able to stay healthy during OTAs and minicamp but he believes he will get enough reps during training camp to be ready for the regular season.
Bosa initially was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain on May 23.
“I was worried when it happened,” Bosa said. “I was pretty down on myself that I couldn’t stay on the field but once I got with the guys and just had some of the older guys talk me up a little bit, it’s been super helpful.”
Bosa believes he prepared well to return to the football field but he had two big things going against him. One was the busy travel schedule of a top pick, and the other was not playing football for nearly a year due to his sports hernia injury.
“Injuries kind of come out of nowhere but I think I kind of prepared pretty well,” Bosa said. “It’s just, you can’t really simulate what football does to your body. And for me to jump in with almost a year of not playing, the body is kind of, "whoa, slow down.’”
While Bosa would prefer to be on the field with his teammates, he has taken advantage of his situation. He has been able to watch his position group work with coach Kris Kocurek while learning the scheme and picking up techniques from the veterans.
“It kind of forced me to slow down a bit,” Bosa said. “But I think I’ve taken this time to just sit back and watch and I honestly think it’s been super beneficial for me because we have such a good unit. Just watching these guys play, just learning the plays and learning the scheme, because it’s really similar to what I used to do but [also] a lot different.”
One of the players that Bosa has been focusing on is Arik Armstead, who he says has stood out to him during the offseason. Bosa has also been picking the brain of Dee Ford and taking notes on Solomon Thomas.
"He’s probably having the best camp out of anyone that I’ve noticed,” Bosa said of Armstead. “He’s just playing out of his mind right now and I’m excited to see what he does during the year. And he plays the big end too so I’m just watching him and Dee and Solly. Just great examples for me.”
Ford’s football philosophy and specificity have made an impression on Bosa. It has influenced the way he looks at his position.
“Just seeing a vet, just how he goes about his craft and how much he actually loves football,” Bosa said. “It’s pretty fun to watch. You don’t really get that in college. He works his craft. He only does a few things, but those things are unbelievable. That’s all you need. Master a few things. I’ve learned that from him.”
Bosa is confident that he will be ready to go for training camp. He will remain in Santa Clara one more week, with the other rookies working with the strength and conditioning staff before heading back home to Florida. There he plans to work out with his brother, Chargers d-lineman Joey Bosa, who had a hamstring injury his rookie year as well.
“I think I’m going to be just fine,” Nick Bosa said. "I’m going to get this hammy perfectly right and I think there will be plenty of time to play football and get the reps that I need.”
Bosa added that it won’t take long to get his confidence back when he’s on the field.
“Probably just a couple of weeks of practice just getting those reps over and over again,” Bosa said. “Obviously you can keep improving from there. And I’m missing a little of that now but I think camp will be plenty of time, and preseason.”