© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Bosa’s last six months, following a devastating Super Bowl loss — a fourth quarter of which he said he has yet to watch — have functioned effectively as an extended training period. He, and his older brother, Joey Bosa, who is fresh off a five-year, $135 million mega-extension with the Los Angeles Chargers, spent just about the full duration of that time together at home in Florida. There, the Bosas did what you’d expect them to do: train.
Over this summer, the younger Bosa doubled up his older brother in the NFL Top 100, appearing at an inaugural 17 on the player-voted list — the highest ever debut for a defensive rookie — compared to Joey Bosa’s No. 34 ranking.
Aside from that accolade immediately reinforcing the type of fantasy money which it will take to sign Nick Bosa to an extension — assuming he stays healthy — it belied the reality that, with 12.5 sacks (3.0 in the playoffs), he was verifiably elite in year one.
Improvement — as terrifying as the fact is for opposing offensive tackles — is inevitable.
Even more terrifying is that Bosa had that stellar season after missing much of the preseason with a sprained ankle, and using just the three moves he learned from legendary defensive line coach Larry Johnson at Ohio State: a speed rush, bull rush and counter.
Bosa told KNBR last November that he planned to add an additional two moves this summer: a cross chop and spin move.
Teammate Dee Ford told KNBR then that Bosa didn’t even need to add those moves, that an elite pass rusher only needs three. But Bosa had the attitude of “why not?”
“Obviously you want your main ones to be mastered, but why not learn more if you can?” Bosa said. “The technique we learned at Ohio State was a good basis for me, and now I could just add extra things on top.”
On Thursday, Bosa affirmed he worked on two new moves, and evaluated room for improvement in areas he feels could use tightening up. He said there were “some pretty concrete things” he’s worked to clean up.
First, he wants an improved game plan before each start. Bosa said he wasn’t sure what his go-to moves were last year or what would be most effective given that he was a rookie.
The second item is to work his 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,” Bosa said. “So that’s probably been the biggest emphasis for me and I’ve been working on that in walkthroughs and in drills all season.”
The last part, which he slipped in, almost coyly, at the end of his answer, were those “couple new moves that I might add.”
It seems unlikely for Bosa to work on something and not use it.
A more reasonable expectation is that he’ll catch at least one offensive linemen flat-footed and embarrassed with a spin move or cross chop they’ve never seen on tape. It could look a little like this:
Bosa with that “nice try come again” spin pic.twitter.com/ZWJjZlWjyd
— DailySportsDosage (@SportsDsd) December 3, 2018