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Bosa voices his reasons for the sacks he’s missed this season

The practice rules have a lot to do with it

Pittsburgh Steelers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

For being one of the better pass rushers in the league already, San Francisco 49ers first-round pick Nick Bosa has left a few sacks on the field. Bosa has been battling an ankle injury that limited his snaps in the first two games. That hasn’t stopped him from being effective. Tackling has prevented the rookie from Ohio State from being among the league leaders in sacks.

Bosa talked about one of his missed sacks against the Steelers in the second quarter. It’s the first play in this clip:

“I don’t know what happened to that. I got cold feet,” said Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. “It’s coming together. I just got to keep going. The finishing part is tough because you never practice it. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, I beat the lineman, so what do I do now?’ It’s just getting used to finishing plays, and that will come.”

I laughed at “cold feet.” Hearing Bosa explains his thought process, that’s the problem. He’s overthinking. I can see where the lack of tackling in practice leads to missed tackles in a game, but if you look at that play above, he has Rudolph dead to rights and loses his footing. That’s not a practice issue.

Bosa was asked about his performance against the Steelers. He said that things are starting to slow down for him:

“It was really slowed down for me,” Bosa said. “I think I played really well. I think our D-line played unbelievable. It was so much fun. I don’t even care that I missed a couple (of sacks) because we got the win and other guys had great games. I’m just glad I did my part.”

You can see that. He was a bit reckless the first week. Not when it came to rushing the passer, but just maintaining his gap responsibilities, and the smaller details that come with playing the position. He’s played more under control, especially against the Steelers. I do think the speed of the game, and some of the looks have thrown him off. Even the best rookies from top programs aren’t used to everyone being as big, strong, and fast as they are.

Bosa feels like he can do a better job of changing up his pass-rush:

“I’ve been using speed so much, and I have really good power. Just sometimes, I don’t use it. Before the rush, I think, ‘I got to use power; got to use power.’ Then, I go speed, and I go, ‘Why did I do that? I got to use power. I brought power almost all day (against the Steelers). Hit them with a couple speed moves, but I knew I could get underneath him and power him, so I did.”

In the last clip above, you see the type of power Bosa possesses. The second clip is his “go-to” rush; the “side scissor.”

When you are in the backfield as often as Bosa has been, the sacks will come.