Fresh out of the cold tub after a training camp practice, Nick Bosa took a seat on a couch and settled in for a rare, one-on-one interview.
Bosa’s fourth season on the 49ers is upon him. He is, undeniably, one of the NFL’s best defensive ends. Yet he’s still somewhat of a mystery.
He is not a brash loudmouth or a clever-dancing sack artist. His dry sense of humor can catch you by surprise, as can an occasional postgame soundbite reflecting unabashed confidence in himself, his defense and his team.
In the following question-and-answer session with the Bay Area News Group’s 49ers reporter Cam Inman, Bosa did not hesitate to say this season’s team could win the Super Bowl, thus ending the franchise’s 27-year quest for a sixth Lombardi Trophy:
Before we dive into 2022, let’s reflect real quick on last season. The Green Bay playoff game, you get a couple of sacks on Aaron Rodgers and win in the snow. Most gratifying win or performance you’ve had?
I didn’t love how I played in the second half. But after the game is one of the most excited times I’ve been, for sure, after a win.
What did you do on Super Bowl Sunday?
Oh, I was there. I was in L.A. for some events, just left Vegas. I had a couple easy money events where I had to show up and whatever. Then I was in L.A. and my doctor (Neal) ElAttrache had an extra ticket. I went and sat in the box with my agent. I didn’t like it at all. (Rams lineman Andrew) Whitworth’s family was right next to me, and I was just … they were all super nice. If I did it all over again, I would have stayed at home or went somewhere else to watch it.
Was it painful and awkward?
It was weird, because I didn’t want to like cheer for anybody, but obviously I’m watching Sam (Hubbard) and Joe (Burrow). That’s the biggest reason I decided to go. (Bosa played at Ohio State with Hubbard and Burrow.)
What are your expectations for this season?
Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty with a new quarterback. You never know how good they’re going to be, because you haven’t seen them play. But I like what I saw from him last year and I know that our team is good enough to win the Super Bowl.
The first few games will say a lot about how our offense is going to operate. But as a team, we’re in the best position we’ve been in, including ’19. Our secondary is going to allow the D-line to really become the top unit in the league, which I’m super excited about.
We have tons of weapons. Obviously we have Deebo, and I think the O-line will come together. But we’ve got to see what Trey can do, for sure.
You bring up 2019, and you came into a team with contender abilities, and now Trey does, too. A lot of players drafted that high don’t get to do that.
Yeah, I know. I definitely got lucky. I could have been elsewhere. I’m just happy because this organization is so great. They give you all the resources you need. They listen to my input. Obviously you have to get some respect in the building before you can give input, but I have a great relationship with Kyle and John, so it’s all good.
Did last season surprise you how much you got out of your body coming off the knee (reconstruction)?
If you told me when I showed up here (in 2021) that I was going to have that year, it would a little bit surprise me, because there were still some things with my knee that were annoying me. I was managing it but standing out at walk-through at practice, I was always thinking about it, and I had a sleeve on it all the time. It was annoying. But once I got going, I felt fine. When I’m in the routine of being here and taking care of my body as good as I do when I’m here, it feels the best.
Did you have to cut back on your leg workouts last week with different workouts?
Not different workouts, but I had to manage because I had a fat-pad thing, which is two little fat things when you squeeze your quad, and it was getting irritated so much because there’s so many nerves in there. Because there’s so much new hardware in there, it takes so many reps and squats for it to start moving like it did before. I didn’t get my max (weight lifting) up to where it was the year before, and now this year I’m 35 pounds (on a maximum squat) over where I was two years ago.
Your quads obviously get a lot of attention. How do they help you?
It’s a lot of genetics, for sure, from my dad. It’s not like I go and do body-building stuff in the offseason. I’m not sitting there doing high reps and leg extensions. I squat full range and do a couple single leg things, some step ups and RDLs. Everything is to perform well.
Are Joey’s quads as big? (His older brother, Joey, plays for the Los Angeles Chargers)
Does anybody in the NFL have bigger quads?
I think so. Maybe Javon (Kinlaw), maybe per proportion, maybe not. (Kinlaw is 6-foot-5, 319 pounds and plays defensive tackle next to Bosa, who is listed at 6-4, 266).
How is the rapport with left tackle Trent Williams during practice?
Today I asked him about something, and the fact he gave me a straight answer, I was like, ‘Wow.’ I feel if he was a younger player and might have another contract somewhere else – which maybe he will but – maybe he wouldn’t do that type of thing. So I do appreciate that. You’re always competing, even with guys on your team. And I’ll tell him whatever because he’s on my team.
How would you describe the ideal pass rush?
Really good get-off, and finish with a sack. Knocking the ball out would be ideal.
In today’s NFL, is finesse more important than a power rush?
I think power is more important, to be honest. Guys are so athletic and so good with their hands that if you don’t have power …. Like, you could get away with just being a power rusher and being productive in the NFL. But you can’t get away with just being a finesse rusher, unless you’re crazy. Even Von Miller, who’s thought of a fast rusher, he’s also one of the better power rushers.
Do you have a signature move?
I think the swipe. Inside swipe or outside swipe. I’m more of a power rusher, honestly, when it comes down to it.
That’s different from Joey?
I’d say so. As his career’s gone on, he’s become more finesse, but he’s got the power, too.
Did your dad instill some of this in you growing up? (John Bosa was the Miami Dolphins’ 1987 first-round pick who played three seasons as a defensive end before knee injuries cut short his career.)
With his background, do you guys feel you’re carrying on his legacy and raising it to new heights?
Yeah, you think about that sometimes. But he’d be the first to tell you he hopes for our careers to make his not even a thought. He had a rough NFL career. He had an amazing college career. But he was as a first-round pick. As a kid from Keene, New Hampshire, that’s pretty cool.
He had knee injuries. You had a bad knee injury, too, but with medical advancements, it’s a different game, huh?
Yeah, completely. He’s great now and is still exercising a ton. His knees feel good and I’m glad.
You spend your offseasons in Fort Lauderdale. You got a boat? How big is it?
Have a protein-shake blender on the boat?
No. There’s a fridge on there, though.
You don’t go fishing, do you?
A little, not much. I like to go to the sandbar and hang out. I keep my boat behind my dad’s house, but on the weekends, I bring it to Joey’s because he’s in the main area of Fort Lauderdale and where we like to hang out. But the boat ride are literally three minutes from his place to the sandbar, so sometimes we don’t go very far.
What else do you do out there?
Just a lot of work. Weekdays, I’m not doing much. I’ll hang out at Joey’s.
Out here in California, you came here three years ago, but essentially have only lived here about a year – six months in 2019, six months last year. Favorite spots?
I don’t do anything here. I live right down the street. Once I move somewhere – which I might do sometime — I’ll start checking more spots out. But I don’t have a girlfriend so I don’t really go out to eat with anybody. I might go over to George’s place or occasionally have a D-line hangout.
Do you live by yourself?
Will you eventually buy a home?
Yeah, if I’m staying here for a while, probably.
When you see a guy like Deebo get signed, George and Fred, what does that tell you how this franchise takes care of homegrown guys and your faith in that.
I have a lot of faith that when the time comes, it will be smooth. I know it’s one of the hardest negotiation units up there with Paraag (Marathe, the 49ers’ chief capologist) and all those guys. But I think when they know your value …
It doesn’t seem you’re concerned, that as long as you do your job, things will work out?
Exactly. I try to take it one day at a time.
I’ve heard that about athletes.
Yeah, it’s a good thing for life in general.
Contributed by local news sources