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49ers Notebook: Nick Bosa lobbies for 49ers to keep Chase Young; Kyle Juszczyk addresses his future; Has anyone on the team watched the Super Bowl yet?

Feb 13, 2024 at 8:55 PM--

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The offseason is underway for the San Francisco 49ers, which means the team's decision makers will soon have to determine which free agents they would like to try to keep and which ones they'll have to let go.

One of the more interesting cases is defensive end Chase Young, whom the 49ers added during the regular season from the Washington Commanders in exchange for a third-round draft pick. It may be hard for the 49ers to prevent Young from being more than a rent-a-player, but Young's friend and former Ohio State University teammate Nick Bosa made it clear Tuesday he'd like to see general manager John Lynch and the 49ers brass find a way to keep Young on the team.

In this edition of the 49ers Notebook, we delve into a range of topics starting with Bosa's comments on Chase Young. Following that, we'll explore fullback Kyle Juszczyk's thoughts on retirement, plus we'll find out which 49er has actually watched the Super Bowl and much more. Let's get into it...

Will the 49ers chase Chase?

Chase Young had some ups-and-downs in his brief time with the 49ers, particularly in the playoffs when he went from being questioned for his effort in the NFC Championship win over the Detroit Lions to making an impact in the Super Bowl LVIII overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. But perhaps the 49ers would be able to help him consistently reach his full potential if he spent an entire season with the team.

The question is if they'll try to make that happen. The 49ers have a number of significant contractual issues to resolve in the weeks ahead as well as down the line, and given the amount of high-priced players they'd like to keep on their roster, it may be tough to re-sign Young if he feels he can find a better deal in free agency.

Bosa spoke to reporters Tuesday while players were heading out of team facilities for the offseason. He expressed a desire to see Young return, while adding he believes defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and general manager John Lynch feel the same.

"I definitely want Chase back," Bosa said. "I think any guy that I want back, Kris and John and all them want back too, so we're on the same page."

Bosa thinks Young performed well in his time with the 49ers after going through an adjustment period as part of a new defense.

"I think he did great," Bosa said. "I think it's tough to come in and get the scheme right away. It took him a little bit to get used to some of the stuff, but I was super impressed with him. Hopefully we can get him back, but obviously he needs to do what's best for him."

Other players set for free agency include defensive end Clelin Ferrell, whom Bosa has also spoken highly of; defensive end Randy Gregory; defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw; defensive tackle Kevin Givens; quarterback Sam Darnold; safety Tashaun Gipson; wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud; and linebacker Oren Burks. Lynch expressed a belief Tuesday that the team will be able to keep all their "high-priced players," but whether or not Young will be among the players considered to be in that category remains to be seen.

"Yeah, there's some challenges. I hope so. I think we're set up to do that," Lynch said. "It takes putting the whole thing together and there's also things we have to plan for going forward. So, you can't just be reckless, we never will be. It goes back to the draft being so critical because those guys making and contributing to your team are very critical. But it goes back to the whole piece. So it's early. We've been obviously looking and planning for these things. Now we get to include Kyle (head coach Kyle Shanahan) and his staff on those talks and we'll have a great plan moving forward."

Bosa reflects on his 2023 season

Bosa admitted Tuesday he needed an adjustment period himself in 2023, albeit for much different reasons than Young did after getting traded to the 49ers.

Bosa didn't go through training camp or the preseason with 49ers in 2023 due to his holdout during his contract negotiations. He finally signed a record-breaking five-year, $170 million extension with the 49ers in early September, but even though Bosa typically does as good of a job staying in shape over the offseason as anyone, those missed practices combined with the pressure of a new contract led to him not being at his best in the early part of the season.

"I think it did mentally and performance-wise, just not having practice," Bosa said. "I think my hands kind of get going later once I start using them a lot. It kind of takes time to get the timing down, and that's the biggest thing with practice. And then yeah, just the stress of having that looming, and then the pressure initially once you get it. I kind of went through all that towards later in the year and started to feel better. I think I was playing my best ball towards the end."

Fortunately, Bosa won't have to worry about any of that this offseason. He'll be able to keep a regular schedule and shouldn't have to go through the same issues he experienced after returning to the team in 2023.

"It's just a lot easier that you have the timetable and you know how to set up your training to be peaking at the right time," Bosa said. "It's good to know I'll be here for a long time."

Expect Bosa to take a short respite over the remainder of the month, then he'll get back to his training, much of which usually takes place in his hometown of Fort Lauderdale.

"I'll take a couple weeks of really chill, not much anything, and then I'll start lifting," Bosa said. "And once I get back to Florida, we'll get back on the field."

Speaking of being around for a long time

There's a good chance Bosa will be with the 49ers for the remainder of fullback Kyle Juszczyk's career, however long that may be.

Juszczyk turns 33 in April, which means the time may soon come for him to decide whether or not he should continue his career in the NFL. But it doesn't sound like that time will come in the near future, based on what Juszczyk said Tuesday.

"That's a great question," Juszczyk said. "Anytime anyone's ever asked me about retirement or anything like that, I always say I'm gonna go until the wheels fall off. And I may do that. You just never know. You never know. You've got to just re-evaluate after every season, but I'll definitely say I am nowhere close to that point in my career."

Things can change quickly from one season to the next for a player in Juszczyk's age group, as he alluded to, but there's no sign of that happening for him anytime soon. Juszczyk still plays like he has plenty of gas left in the tank, and he feels that way too.

"I feel fantastic," said Juszczyk, who is signed with the 49ers through 2025. "Body feels like I'm still in my mid-20s, so I'm going to continue to do this as long as I can."

Not everyone is rushing to re-live the Super Bowl

Some of the 49ers don't seem to be in a hurry to watch game film of Super Bowl LVIII. That's perfectly understandable, given the heartbreaking nature of their 25-22 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Players as well as head coach Kyle Shanahan were asked Tuesday if they had watched the game, and when they'd get around to doing so if they hadn't. The answers were all over the map, starting with Shanahan, who said he chose to watch some Netflix with his family on Monday instead of looking at any footage of the Super Bowl.

"I don't think I have to anytime soon. But, I'm not really ready to right now," Shanahan said. "We got home last night. I just hung out, watched Griselda Blanco with my family. It's pretty cool. It's hard because usually I watch sports or read some on my phone and I don't really feel like doing any of that right now. So I got to catch up on some movies last night with my family. Then came in today and just really talked with players and stuff. Just got to say bye to a couple guys, which I'd love to say bye to everyone, but I can't talk to 60 people before this press conference. So we'll see if there's any people lingering here until probably seven at night. But that's really what we do these two days.

"I'm sure I'll come in here, it'll be a little bit quieter over the next couple days. I'm sure I'll turn it on pretty soon."

Offensive tackle Trent Williams didn't seem to know when he'll get around to watching the game. Perhaps he might not do so until later in the year.

"I'm pretty sure I'll look at it at some point," Williams said. "Football's over until August, September. I've got a little time before I've got to make corrections."

As for Bosa, he might not watch Super Bowl LVIII in 2024 at all.

"I don't think I'll watch it until next year," Bosa said.

One player who did brave the experience of watching the game was linebacker Fred Warner, who said he prefers to review film soon after a game in order to answer any questions he may have about what occurred.

"Yeah, I watched it," Warner said. "I'm always eager to watch right away just because there's certain moments in a game where things are happening, you don't really know exactly what happened in the moment but then you go back and watch and you're like 'Okay, that's why that happened' or certain things. So I watched it."

As he might have expected, Warner found a number of things in the game that the team could have done better. But one area he was satisfied with was effort and how hard his teammates fought to come away with a win.

"I just can't speak to how proud I was watching it," Warner said.

Purdy knew the rules

One subject of much discussion to come from Super Bowl LVIII was the fact that not every player on the 49ers seemed to be familiar with the NFL's new postseason overtime rules. The rules differ from the traditional regular season rules due to a change made by the league in 2023. Super Bowl LVIII was the first postseason game to use the rules, which in a nutshell dictate that the game carries on as if it were a new game and each team is guaranteed at least one possession before the team that is ahead is declared the winner.

Quarterback Brock Purdy told reporters Tuesday he was aware of the rules after double-checking with quarterbacks coach Brian Griese.

"No, I knew," Purdy said. "Before that, I asked Griese on the sideline before we went into overtime, like, 'Hey, just to clarify, what are the rules?' And he goes, 'This is the playoffs.' So he explained the rules to me and everything, so I had an understanding of it."

Purdy's newest award

Purdy was announced Tuesday as the latest recipient of the Len Eshmont Award, which is the most prestigious team honor given on a yearly basis by the 49ers.

The award has been given since 1957 to the player who best exemplifies the "inspirational and courageous play" of Len Eshmont, who was a member of the first 49ers' team in 1946. The award is voted on by the players and has been given in recent years to Bosa, Warner wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and tight end George Kittle. Purdy and Colin Kaepernick (2016) are the only quarterbacks to win the award since Steve Young won it in 1994.

"What an honor, for sure, for having my own teammates and brothers be able to vote me for that award is huge," Purdy said Tuesday. "What an honor, man. And honestly, it's a testament, obviously, to the guys around me. It's not all me, and I've come in and done this. I've had so much help around me and so many good guys around me to help get to where I'm at. So I love my boys, and obviously I wear my heart on my sleeve for them and got to learn from what we just went through this year, and I want to do it again next year and win it."

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