Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

‘I know he’s ready’: Joe Staley shares what return of Nick Bosa means to 49ers

Jun 23, 2021 at 10:11 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers suffered many injuries to key players last season. One of the most impactful — at least on defense — was the loss of pass rusher Nick Bosa during Week 2. The young defensive end was coming off his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign when he suffered a torn ACL and was lost for the year.

Joe Staley joined NFL Total Access and was asked what the return of Bosa means to San Francisco's defense. His response shows how quickly the pass rusher was able to earn the respect of his veteran teammates during his first NFL season.

"From day one, I never saw a rookie come in and totally transform a defense like Nick Bosa did for us in my last year there," Staley told MJ Acosta-Ruiz. "He was an unbelievable talent, and losing him last year was such a huge loss for that team. What he can deliver on the edge really sets up that entire defense. It allows the linebackers to play a little bit more downhill. It allows the cornerbacks to play a little bit more aggressive."

Bosa is expected to be healthy for the start of the regular season and may even get tested in training camp if it looks like he has progressed well in his rehab. The third-year defender's return will be key for a 49ers team that mustered just six wins in 2020.

"That pass rush is really key with what they want to do there," Staley added. "... I've been talking to him this offseason. I know he's ready. He's been training incredibly, incredibly hard. So, he's going to be a huge piece for the Niners, going forward."

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