Nick Bosa has plenty to study as 49ers prepare for Cardinals rematch

Nick Bosa has plenty to study as 49ers prepare for Cardinals rematch

SANTA CLARA – 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa’s ability to make adjustments will be tested this week.

For the first time in his career, he will face the same opponent twice in the same season when the 49ers meet the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a Week 11 game at Levi’s Stadium.

That means another opportunity to go up against Cardinals left tackle, D.J. Humphries, a fifth-year pro who is having his best NFL season through 10 games. Humphries has allowed just one sack and 21 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

When the 49ers beat the Cardinals in Arizona on Thursday, Oct. 31, Bosa had three quarterback hurries of rookie Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Bosa was selected No. 2.

“Definitely, a big learning experience,” Bosa said. “It was a short week, so a lot of the game plan that we had that week, we’re keeping. And we’re obviously adjusting to some other stuff. But we know our opponent and we know what to do to beat them. We just got to prepare.”

Bosa and Arik Armstead lead the 49ers with seven sacks apiece. Bosa has gone two games without throwing the opposing quarterback for a loss, but he had a strong game Monday against Seattle. Bosa applied pressure to Russell Wilson six times with one hit.

Facing mobile quarterbacks in back-to-back games has given Bosa some lessons on the mindset needed when he faces Murray again Sunday.

“They’re all different, but I’m getting better at it, for sure,” Bosa said.

What’s the key?

“Relentless,” he said. “Keep after it, no matter what. You never know when he’ll hold onto it, so you got to rush like he’s holding on to it every time.”

The 49ers expect the Cardinals to repeat much of the same game plan from the Week 9 meeting. The Cardinals' offensive approach consisted of screens, quick-hitting passes and running the ball in an attempt to neutralize the 49ers' pass rush.

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Bosa and the rest of the defense is coming off an overtime game in which he, Armstead and DeForest Buckner played nearly every snap. Buckner played 69 of the team’s 73 defensive plays, while Armstead was on the field for 68 snaps. Bosa was on the field for a career-high 60 plays.

“During the game, you’re good to go,” Bosa said. “Obviously, you’re going to keep giving it all you have, but the next day you definitely feel it. I usually don’t play that many plays. We don’t usually play that many plays as a defense, so we’re all a little extra sore, but we’ll be fine.”

How adjusting Fred Warner's workload has unleashed his speed for 49ers

How adjusting Fred Warner's workload has unleashed his speed for 49ers

BRADENTON, Fla. — For the second time in as many months, a member of the 49ers has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Linebacker Fred Warner took home the title for November after Nick Bosa had the honor for October. During the month, Warner tallied 44 total tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and two forced fumbles. 

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh believes altering the linebacker’s responsibilities has given Warner an opportunity to play with more speed. 

“We’ve taken a lot off his plate so he can just go line up and play,” Saleh said Thursday. “Putting more of the onus on making sure that guys lineup and go play. We were playing some of those read-option teams, the Arizona teams, we’re asking him to make a lot of checks and see if he can get us in the perfect defense. 

“While he’s busy trying to do that, he’s not able to focus on his job. Even though he was getting everyone lined up and everything was perfect, it’s just not fair for him. So, to take a little bit off his plate so he can go ahead and go play, I think that’s really been the difference.”

Saleh is not alone in praising Warner. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman also has been impressed with the young linebacker's work ethic and growth in his second season. The fact that Warner didn’t play inside until he was with the 49ers makes his accomplishments even more significant. 

“The inside linebacker already has so much on his plate,” Sherman said. “Being able to take some of that off—there was one game I think he had six calls in one play. Where if this guy moves here, he has to readjust the line. He has to tell the DBs this, he has to tell this guy this and sometimes that just doesn’t allow him to play fast.

“He’s getting everybody else lined up to play fast but he can’t play fast. He has to think about all these calls, all these adjustments. Maybe you put a little more strain on the rest of the guys. You spread out the strain and it allows him to play fast and for us to be a better defense.”

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Now in his second year, Warner sees things developing on the field more quickly. No matter the workload given to him by Saleh, the BYU product has been able to adjust.  

“I think as the year has gone on, he has kind of started to realize what’s too much, what’s too little,” Warner said. “I agree completely. Ever since kind of the midway point of the season, I think he has lined it up for me to just go out and play fast.”  

49ers' Richard Sherman, Dee Ford speak out on Tim Ryan's comments


49ers' Richard Sherman, Dee Ford speak out on Tim Ryan's comments

BRADENTON , Fla. -- Following radio broadcaster Tim Ryan's one-game suspension for his comments regarding Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, several 49ers players spoke out, believing there was no malicious intent behind what the analyst said. 

Known as being outspoken on most topics, Richard Sherman did not mince words about what Ryan said. He even mentioned that the commentator had personally apologized to several players while at the team hotel after the announcement of his suspension. 

“I know Tim personally, and I listened to the dialogue and saw it, read it,” Sherman said. “Honestly, I wasn’t as outraged as everybody else. I understand how it can be taken in a certain context and be offensive to some. 

“But if you’re saying, ‘Hey, this is a brown ball, they are wearing dark colors, and he has a brown arm,’ honestly sometimes we were having trouble seeing it on film. He’s making a play fake and sometimes he’s swinging his arm really fast and you’re like, does he have the ball? And you look up and [Mark] Ingram is running it.

“So it was technically a valid point but the way he said it, you can always phrase things better. I’ve had a relationship with him since I’ve gotten here and he’s never been anything other than a great guy and a professional and a guy who takes his job seriously.” 

Edge rusher Dee Ford expressed similar sentiments about Ryan’s comments, and confirmed that the two had spoken since the incident. 

“He walked up to me earlier and before he even said anything I told him. ‘I got your back.’” Ford said. “I already knew the story. The words kind of got taken out of context, and of course, now he knows he could have used better judgment with his words. But we got his back. I knew what he was trying to say. 

“This era we live in, it is just what it is, but I know him personally. I speak to him a lot. He loves to watch the D-line and there’s not one -- type of bone -- you know what bone I’m talking about, in his body. So I got his back, so put that to bed really fast.”  

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh also spoke about Ryan’s nature, not believing that there was negative intent behind his comments. 

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“I’ve always, as a human being, tried to judge people on how I interact with them,” Saleh said. “And I love the man. He’s a very genuine human being and he knows he made a mistake and he’s just trying to move this on as quickly as possible.” 

Dennis Brown will be on the call with Greg Papa during Ryan’s absence for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints in the Superdome.