Bosa's evolution as pass rusher should scare NFL offenses

Nick Bosa

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After the 49ers' 31-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nick Bosa said something that should strike fear in the hearts of NFL offenses. 

Through 10 games, the star pass rusher has registered 10 sacks, topping his 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign where he totaled nine. Bosa explained how his current style of pass rushing has led to more sacks.

“I think I've definitely improved a lot,” Bosa said on Sunday. “I think I'm starting to get the hang of just how to really get sacks, get numbers. My rookie year I was just out there rushing, trying to win every time, and it worked well, but now I'm really getting the hang of how the sack leaders in the league do it.

“They go out there with a plan and know when their opportunities are going to come, and they're ready for it. A game like this, I thought my ops were over, and then I get two. I'm just staying in the game and just playing mind games with the guys you're going against.”

Bosa already demanded an incredible amount of attention from opposing offenses, and now, as he hits his midseason stride, could be an even bigger problem. Along with improving his technique, the edge rusher also has altered his nutrition program.

During the offseason Bosa and his brother, Los Angeles Chargers defensive lineman Joey Bosa, hired a personal chef and trained together in Florida. 


“I definitely feel like I'm moving better than I ever have, which, coming off an injury is great to be able to get to this point,” Bosa said. “It’s a credit to our training that we do back home and all the work that me and my brother put in in the offseason, and it's paying off.”

Sunday was Bosa’s third game of the season with multiple sacks and the fifth of his career. He didn’t even know he had registered a second sack until teammate Fred Warner informed him that it had happened. 

Early in the fourth quarter, Bosa thought opportunities to add to his stats might have been over. The game was looking like it was out of reach for the Jaguars and he thought coach Kyle Shanahan might decide to pull the 49ers' starters. 

Then, in three out of four consecutive plays, Bosa left his mark. On a first-and-10, Bosa drew a holding call. Then on first-and-20, he sacked Trevor Lawrence for a loss of 5 yards. Two plays, later Bosa chased Lawrence out of bounds for a loss of 1 yard. 

“I've never gotten one like that,” Bosa said. “We always watch them in the film room, and we're, like, oh, man, that's B.S. Come on. I don't know. Did you tell me, Fred, that it was a sack?” 

Warner, who was waiting in the interview room for his turn at the podium, participated in the conversation. 

“The one on the sideline, yeah,” Warner said,” Right away, I'm like, that's a sack!

“I thought I had late-hit him because I was just running,” Bosa said. “I didn't know where the sideline was, and it paid off. I'll take it.” 

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Bosa is on pace to finish the season with 17 sacks, which would make him a legitimate candidate for Comeback Player of the Year. If his upward trajectory continues, there’s no telling where his ceiling could be.

No matter the pass rusher’s total, there is no doubt that opposing offenses will be preparing for his inevitable impact on the game. 

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