clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nick Bosa is taking pride in the success of other 49ers defensive linemen

The 49ers edge rusher is excited to see several of his teammates having career years.

Defensive Line Coach Kris Kocurek of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Samson Ebukam #56, Nick Bosa #97 and Arden Key #98 on the sidelines during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa has been one of the most productive defensive players in the NFL this season. Bosa is all over the top of the league’s defensive leaderboard and has already set new career highs in quarterback hits (30), tackles for loss (19), sacks (15), and forced fumbles (4). However, the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year has had significant challenges this season, with opposing offensive coordinators scheming double teams, chips, and anything they can think of to slow him down.

Bosa has acknowledged some frustration with the attention he gets from opposing teams. In a press conference earlier this season, he openly complained about chips, noting it’s the only place on the field where a player is allowed to be blindsided by an opponent. On Thursday, Bosa was asked if he takes pride in setting his teammates up to make big plays in his weekly media availability. Bosa said, “When you see Arden [Key] get a career-high in sacks and Jordan Willis... It’s definitely rewarding in that way too.”

Arden Key, Jordan Willis, Samson Ebukam, and Kentavius Street have all matched or surpassed their previous single-season career-highs in sacks. Key, Ebukam, and Street have all surpassed their previous single-season career-highs in quarterback hits and pressures as well. Other 49ers’ defensive linemen, like D.J. Jones (tackles for loss) and Arik Armstead (tackles), have set career-highs in other notable statistical categories. It’s hard to imagine so many players having career years without Bosa.

Obviously, Bosa is far from the only reason for the success of the 49ers’ defensive line. Defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans deserve credit for helping unlock players' potential along the Niners’ front. With that said, Kocurek and Ryans have taken advantage of Bosa’s elite talent to get the most productivity out of their pass rush.

Here’s Bosa’s full comment from Thursday’s press conference:

“It’s a little frustrating sometimes when you don’t feel as involved in a game, but when you see Arden [Key] get a career-high in sacks and Jordan Willis and Arik [Armstead] starting to come together and Samson [Ebukam], I think a career-high for him as well. It’s definitely rewarding in that way too.”