San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa met with the media Wednesday morning to talk Joe Staley, Trent Williams, COVID-19, and much more.
What’s been your approach since the Super Bowl to get prepared for the 2020 season?
Just like any loss, it stinks for a while, then you eventually get over it and realize life goes on, and you’ll get another crack at it. When you’re that close, it makes it even harder. Just getting back to work, it’s pretty simple to get your mind off something when you can go out and train your butt off and prepare yourself. Obviously, it’s been a little tough with what’s going on in the world, but we have a good setup down here.
In what ways can you and some of the other guys step up and fill that leadership void left from Buckner and Sanders that might be there?
We still have plenty of leadership on the team, I think. For guys like me and Deebo, and Dre— who are rookies that played a lot—we’re not just deers in headlights anymore. We know the routine and how the NFL season works. Now we can take the next step and honing our game and really studying our opponents now that we’ve played them once.
What’s your offseason routine been?
I’m back home in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. We (big brother Joey) run at a park near our house, and then we lift at our gym in Weston that my dad owns. We wake up at 6 in the morning and get to the field by 7. We finish running by 8:30 and try and get off before the park rangers show up. We grab breakfast and head to the gym. Our lifts usually end by around 2, so it’s a pretty full day for us. We hired a chef, she’s great. We have a good delivery system, and we’re keeping the nutrition really good. We’re not able to get out too much. Honestly, my body is feeling unbelievable at this point.
Your thoughts on DeForest being traded, and how important was he in helping you adapt and adjust?
Buck was definitely one of my best friends on the team, and seeing him go is obviously bittersweet. He got a pretty good contract, and he deserves it, but losing him as a leader, we’re going to have to really figure out how to step up and fill that void because he was the third-down D-Line play-caller, he was the hype speech guy, he was everything. And I think he played with the best effort on the D-Line, which really shows on tape when you see somebody that big springing to the ball every play and making those tackles downfield and obviously his pass-rush ability, we’re gonna have to step up. We have Javon coming in, and I’m sure he’ll be a huge help but me, Dee, Arik, Solly, D.J., Ronnie, we’re all gonna have to step it up for him.
After accomplishing so much in your first year, does that set the bar even higher for your second year?
Yes, definitely. My expectations are always high. I set my goals really high. I’ve been achieving them, so I’m going to keep setting them high and working my butt off. I know the work that I’m putting in now is going to show up. I’m going to be a much smarter player next year, and approach my opponents better, waste rushes, and make silly mistakes next year and hopefully enhance my game.
What do you know about Javon Kinlaw, and what do you think he’ll bring to the defensive line?
I didn’t watch too much of South Carolina until obviously, I started hearing that he might be a pick for us, then I started to watch some ofo him. He just embodies what we do as a D-Line. The way he plays the run. He’s just a beast. He plays the run like we play it. He gets off the ball really fast. He’s just a giant human. Perfect to replace Buckner. He seems like a good dude, and I’ve been talking to him a little bit. I’m excited.
Opponent wise, do you look at some of the tackles you’ll play against this year?
Yeah, Kris [Kocurek] is starting to put some cutups on our iPads. I’ve started looking at some film of some guys already. Even some film of Trent [Williams] just so I’m not caught off guard when camp rolls around. We get all of the cutups with the tackles. Kris does a great job of that of keeping us prepared. Think that’s one of the biggest things as a defensive end you need to focus on. Knowing your opponent.
Could you elaborate on Buckner calling the plays at the line of scrimmage?
We would turn to Buckner on third down for our third-down game (stunts/twists) calls. We’d walk up Buck and say, “Okay, Buck, what do you want?” If Kris didn’t say something we wanted, then Buckner would just decide. That’s a pretty big responsibility that we’re going to have to pick up.
What are your impressions of Trent Williams?
He’s a really good athlete. I think the biggest thing that stands out is his athleticism and his feet. He’s able to recover. I think I saw a rep where somebody spun on him, and he got beat, but the way he moves his feet, he has feet like a receiver. He moves his feet so well and just stay in front of guys. Obviously, he’s massive, so it’s tough to overpower him. He’s definitely one of the best in the league. It’ll be fun to practice against him.
What are some things you want to work on going forward?
Seeing the field a little better, not wasting rushes, not making little technique mistakes that I make. Really small things you can see on film. My alignment sometimes. Toward later in the year, I really understood what kind of rusher I was and how to set up tackles in the game—just a bunch of stuff like that.
How did Joe Staley help your transition into the NFL?
It was huge to go against one of the best. Me and him would talk after every practice just about what he saw and how he felt about me as a player. What he thought was the best way for me to approach the game as a pass rusher. Going against him and the input he gave me every day helped me a lot. I really wish he was coming back, but I know that was a decision he was forced into. I wish we could have got him a ring, but it doesn’t happen perfectly all the time. We’ll win one for him, hopefully in the future.