Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers’ Nick Bosa explains how unpadded practices are a benefit

Jul 31, 2022 at 8:57 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers will hold their first padded practice on Monday. Most players look forward to it, welcoming sessions that feel a little more like game action. However, Star defensive end Nick Bosa doesn't mind the unpadded practices. In fact, he feels they greatly benefit him, despite the perception that the sessions are watered-down versions of their padded counterparts.

"We're hitting out there," Bosa told reporters this past week. "Whether we have pads on or not, it's pretty much the same thing. But definitely, more power rushes will be used once the pads do come on. I kind of like the days without pads because it forces me to use finesse moves, which sometimes I get away from throughout the season because my power works a lot.

"So just these two days that I've practiced, I've been able to work a lot of edge rushes, and that's something I'd like to improve on this year."

Bosa is entering his fourth NFL season and is already viewed as one of the best pass rushers in the league. He racked up 15.5 sacks in 2021 to go along with his 52 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, 32 quarterback hits, one pass defensed, and four forced fumbles, earning his second Pro Bowl selection.

In the offseason, Bosa trains with his older brother, Joey Bosa, a four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher for the Los Angeles Chargers. While the 49ers' Bosa feels that unpadded practices help him work on his finesse moves, that's something that he believes his brother has mastered.

"The way he wiggles and uses his hands, and how violent he is with his hands," Bosa shared. "He's just super technically sound with all his stuff that we learned in college from [defensive line coach Larry Johnson], and he's really perfected it. He wouldn't say that, but he's definitely the 'teach tape' for the technique that we use."

While Bosa is eligible for a contract extension, he is signed through the next two seasons. San Francisco exercised its fifth-year option on the 24-year-old phenom, keeping him with the team through 2023. That gives the 49ers the luxury of time to finalize a new long-term deal.

"If you look at our history, our cadence, most of our deals are done with one year left on the contract," general manager John Lynch said last week, "and Nick's got two years left, and so that doesn't make it impossible, but it makes it more likely that it's something that will be addressed next year."



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