The Niners beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 in Week 1, and Bosa showed exactly what 49ers fans were in store for. He finished his very first pro game with three tackles (one for a loss), and three quarterback hits, playing just 55% of the defensive snaps.
From then on, he just kept on getting better-and-better, finishing the 2019 season with 9.0 sacks, 47 tackles, and 45 QB pressures. Not bad for a 22-year-old.
Bosa would go on to win the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and helped San Francisco make its first Super Bowl since the 2012 season. Bosa reflected on his first year during the 49ers State of the Franchise media availability:
“The run we made was unbelievable, but obviously only one team ends the season happy, we obviously want some redemption,” Bosa told Keiana Martin and Greg Papa. “That’s what our focus has been this offseason, and I know I’ve been training, and our team’s been training really hard. We are itching to get back to work.”
It’s scary to think Bosa will get even better. He already has the pass rush moves of a savvy veteran, a part of the game he will be expected to help rookie defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw with.
“He fits our scheme so perfectly, I know (49ers defensive line coach) Kris [Kocurek] has been chomping at the bit to get him in the building,” Bosa said about Kinlaw, who was drafted No. 14 overall. “I’m just so excited to play with a player of a calibre like that. We were in there grinding in rookie mini-camp, really just getting to know the scheme. It’s going to be interesting to see how he picks everything up.”
Bosa has already earned the respect of veterans from around the league. Newly acquired left tackle Trent Williams said one of the reasons he chose to come to the Bay Area was because, “iron sharpens iron,” in reference to practicing against the second-year defensive lineman regularly.
Even though he’s just a pup himself in terms of NFL experience, he has the mindset of a 10-year pro. Making the Super Bowl in his first season, doesn’t make Bosa think making it that far in the playoffs is easily sustainable.
“Now we know we can do it, we have a win now mentality,” Bosa said. “You never know how long you’re going to have these type of guys together. Obviously I was a rookie, and walked into an amazing situation, but when you look around the league great teams come and go, so we need to win now.”