Nick Bosa being held by O-lineman has solution, 49ers' Kris Kocurek says

Nick Bosa being held by O-lineman has solution, 49ers’ Kris Kocurek says

SANTA CLARA — Defensive end Nick Bosa showed no signs of rust after missing the 49ers’ final 14 games of his second NFL season due to a torn ACL.

There were no glaring weaknesses in Bosa’s game in 2021. He registered 19.5 sacks in 20 games, including the playoffs, while also playing well against the run.

Now, it’s just a matter of tightening up his overall game, 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek said.

Bosa, 24, is such a handful for opposing offensive linemen that it seems the best method of containing him is for them to get a handful of his jersey.

Rarely do those possible holding penalties get called, which has been a source of frustration for Bosa, his coaches and for fans.

Kocurek’s solution is for Bosa to continue to fine tune his craft to make it even more difficult for linemen to be somewhat subtle while holding him. Bosa continues to work out with his personal trainer in Florida to gear up for the season.

“We can sit here and cry in our spilled milk or we can do everything we can to not let them hold us,” Kocurek said. “That call’s not in our hands. Obviously, there are times when I feel like he should get a few holding calls here and there, but we can’t sit around and pout about not getting the call.

“You have to line up and play the next snap, and do everything we can to not let him hold us.”

Bosa blasted on the stage in 2019 as the No. 2 overall draft pick. He registered nine sacks during the regular season and four more in the postseason. He was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The next season ended in Week 2 against the New York Jets when he crumbled to the ground in at MetLife Stadium with a severe left knee injury.

Bosa came back last season stronger than ever while appearing in every game. Now, this season will be even more difficult for him after establishing himself as one of the top defensive players in the league.

RELATED: Bosa surprised himself with monster 2021 after ACL injury

Kocurek said Bosa has to get better because opponents have unquestionably studied him this offseason to figure out more effective ways of dealing with him.

“When you’re a rookie and you got that blank slate and you’re just learning everything for the first time, you take really big jumps,” Kocurek said. “Then you become a player at the caliber of Nick, it’s small, minute details within your craft.

“Just continue work on pad level, inside hand placement, leverage, perfection with his hands, with his feet, can I take a millisecond off a rush and turn a hit into a sack, a sack into a sack-strip, a game- changing type of play.”

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