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Nick Bosa: COVID-19 changes ‘haven’t bothered me at all’

The elite defensive lineman opened up about training for the 2020 season, last year’s Super Bowl disappointment, and preparing during the pandemic.

Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers’ defensive lineman Nick Bosa caught with the media Thursday. The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year spoke about the probability of playing with his brother Joey one day, preparing for camp amidst a pandemic, and if he has watched the Super Bowl over the offseason.

On playing with his brother, Joey, one day in the NFL:

“We’ve spent every waking hour together the past six months. So obviously, we have conversations like that, but I mean, we were pretty confident that the Chargers were going to get it done, I’m really happy that it did. Joey loves his team and his teammates. He’s just happy to be stress-free and able to just go to work now, hopefully, maybe later in our careers get together, but we’re focused on our own paths right now.”

On what it’s like practicing against All-Pro Trent Williams.

“I watched a little film on him back during the offseason. OTAs are focused on getting my technique down and honing in on my skills right now but we’re doing walkthroughs together so I’m just seeing how he moves and just getting a little Intel but I mean, you don’t know until you get the pads on and he’s shooting hands and trying to block you for real so but just my observation so far is that he works extremely hard. And he’s a really cool guy in the locker room.”

On how he’s been preparing for the upcoming season?

“I just started training with the guy that me and Joey train with last year going into the combine so and I was coming off an injury so I didn’t really get to maximize my time with him last year and I was flying all over all my visits and workouts and I ended up coming out here and having the injury the hamstring and then getting rolled up on my ankle last year. So it was I definitely didn’t get all the benefits that I wanted to last year but after six months of training me, Julian and him for like six months. I think I’ve gotten all the benefits and I’m feeling it out here in these workouts in these runs we’re doing so I feel like I’m by far in the best shape that I’ve ever been. I don’t look much different because we don’t train like bodybuilders to be trained to play football and I think it’ll show.”

On what he liked, and didn’t like from rookie season?

“I got some pretty concrete things that I’ve been focusing on. One is just having a better plan going into games. Last year, I didn’t really know what was going to work and what wasn’t and what was my go-to. Just coming into games with a better plan and not wasting any time out there because you only get so many opportunities and you want to get those big numbers and help your team as best you can and get the ball out. You have to come in with a plan and not waste any rushes. So that’s one big thing and then just working my hands more consistently, I win a lot at the top of my rush but a lot of the times I get washed by the quarterback or I don’t close enough space and finish the play. So that’s probably been the biggest emphasis for me and I’ve been working that and walkthroughs and and drills all season. A couple of new moves that I might add.”

On watching last year’s Super Bowl, and if he feels he was held a lot during the game:

“I don’t like thinking about that game very much. But I have gone back and I’ve watched up until the fourth quarter, and I was held. It comes down to the opinion of a human being, that’s what refs are. They’re human beings. So if they think it’s holding, it could have been holding, it could have not been holding. Just depends on what he thinks. And I’m not gonna say that’s the reason we lost the game because there’s plenty of opportunities where I could have done better on that move on third-and-15. I’m sure Buck is kicking himself and he thinks he could have done better on the rap and could have gotten there a little quicker. So I’m not gonna blame the ref by any means and. It’s definitely good motivation, first year you get there and you’re seven minutes away and a nightmare of a situation happens. So, you could bet that we’re gonna come back pretty strong this year for all 16 games, then the playoffs.”

On which type of opposing offensive tackles give him the most trouble?

“I’d say just guys with consistent technique. Veterans honestly, you could tell when a guy doesn’t have as much experience and doesn’t really have those crafty little nuances to his game. Honestly, I think shorter, stockier guys give me a little more trouble opposed to the tall guys, but that’s about all I’ll say about that.”

On the energy in training camp:

“I think everybody, not just football players across the world right now are anxious and ready to go. It feels good to just get out outside and move around and be around other people and socialize and honestly feel like people’s social skills are a little off right now because we’ve been locked away for so long and we’re just getting used to communicating again and, and laughing and making jokes and all that stuff. So it’s just fun to be around other people and especially the people that you haven’t seen in a while and you went through a lot with last year. So just being around the guys and it’s, it’s really just taking a lot of stress out of my mind and I’m enjoying it a lot. And I’m really excited for the year to come because I think we have added some great pieces and we’ve obviously lost a couple but the people we’ve added have came in and impressed me and I’m just super excited to get going.”

On how the 49ers are staying focused with all of the challenges surrounding the 2020 season:

“I think the organization as a whole from the front office to everybody who works here has done an amazing job. All our trainers and health staff doctors have just set up an environment for us that’s been super easy to cope with and hasn’t been overbearing and but still keeps us safe. I think the changes haven’t really bothered me at all. I’m just excited to be in here at all.”

On Javon Kinlaw’s first week with the team:

“Javon is a really good kid. He’s really hard working in the meeting room. He knows all this stuff really well. He doesn’t seem like a rookie out there. We’ve only been out to a couple walkthroughs so far, and he knows his stuff, and he doesn’t look like a rookie. And like I said before, in an interview, he’s one of the biggest humans I’ve ever seen in person. And that says a lot when you’ve had Arik and Buck on your team, so I’m just excited for him to have this opportunity and I think he’s gonna kill it.”

Bosa should be a beast again on the field in 2020. He finished his rookie season with 9 sacks, how many do you think he will get this year?