“Under the NFL’s return-to-play protocol, Purdy appears to have advanced at least to the fourth of five phases. The fourth stage is described as “club-based non-contact training drills,” whereas a player may participate in non-contact football activities, such as throwing.”
“Bosa explained that he didn’t enter the Browns game with the “right mindset,” focusing too much on implementing tweaks to his pass-rush approach rather than on the essentials of his craft. Normally, he said, he would have worked through such nuances during training camp; this year he’s doing it all on the fly.
“I was focused too much on those things I wanted to try out, instead of on what makes me me,” Bosa told the Chronicle. “I need to remember what got me here in the first place.”
For Bosa and the rest of his teammates, the current mission isn’t complicated: Figure out a way to win on Sunday, no matter which quarterback plays, and head into the bye week with a 6-2 record and a mini-crisis averted.”
“It just felt like the 49ers were completely flummoxed and they were just completely outmatched. Not even not outmatched, they weren’t out-manned or anything, but they just had zero answers. You watch that game, and there was never a point where I thought like, ‘Oh my gosh, the 49ers’ defense is so much better than than the Vikings’ offense, they should be just steamrolling these guys.’
“Since Shanahan arrived in 2017, the Niners have leaned heavily on generating pressure with their front four and playing heavy zone coverage on the back end. This season, under Wilks, the Niners are blitzing on 24.3% of opponent drop backs, which is 15th highest in the league and the second highest for the Niners since Shanahan arrived. But it’s not that much higher than the 22.8% rate they had in 2022 under Ryans, and the 49ers are struggling to get the quarterback down regardless of the defensive call.”
“We didn’t have any sacks today, and when you go against a quarterback like that, you have to make him uncomfortable,” he said after the game. “And he didn’t seem too uncomfortable.”
As far as Bosa’s modest sack numbers, Shanahan said too often the pass rush hasn’t been tied to the coverage.
“When Bosa beats someone, there’s got to be nowhere to go with the ball and (quarterbacks) have been able to do that,” he said. “When we’ve had people covered, I don’t feel like we’ve always had that rush. So I think it’s there throughout a game, but just not at the right times.”
“The kid made a good play,” Ward said. “That’s all I can say. He made a good-ass play. I thought I had it. And next thing you know, he had it and he’s running into the end zone.”
“So, yeah, I’m concerned about Sunday. I’m concerned about Purdy. I’m concerned about Kyle Shanahan’s distressing fourth quarter comeback record. I’m concerned that Bosa looks like missing training camp was a big deal. I’m concerned that a rested Bengals team on the rise is cruising into Levi’s to take on a short week-taxed 49ers team that may be turning to Darnold for 60 minutes.
Heck, if cool cat Donte Whitner is “very, very concerned”, maybe we all should be.
And that’s the fun of it, right? The concern makes you feel alive. Can’t wait ’til Sunday.”