Nick Bosa still getting up to speed after lengthy holdout


SANTA CLARA — There are some things you simply can’t duplicate while working out with your dad for six weeks during a training camp holdout – like bumping your head against a 330-pound lineman repeatedly in the trenches.

49ers defensive end Nick Bosa only had two practices, including one with his teammates, before Sunday’s season opener in Pittsburgh after ending his contract holdout in the middle of last week. So, his neck has been a little sore this week as he continues to get back in the swing of things.

“Some of the things you can’t simulate until you hit somebody,” Bosa said. “I feel really good. I think I’m in really good shape. It’s just about getting some practices in and starting to feel comfortable with my moves.”

Though last year’s NFL sack leader didn’t record a quarterback takedown against the Steelers, Bosa was still ranked as the Niners’ top defender by Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.5. It sounds like Bosa thinks he could have been more productive if he got more practice snaps, but the Niners will gladly wait for him to get into midseason form since he’s locked up for the next six seasons.

“I definitely wish I made some adjustments throughout the game, that I could have used a little practice for,” Bosa said. “But, I think as a d-line, five sacks and shutting them out with six three-and-outs in a row is a pretty good effort.”

The 49ers lost some defensive line depth with the departures of edge rushers Samson Ebukam and Charles Omenihu this past offseason, but Bosa likes what he sees from free-agent addition Clelin Ferrell, who has slotted in as the No. 3 defensive end behind Bosa and Drake Jackson, who racked up three sacks against the Steelers.

“It felt really good,” Bosa said of lining up with his d-line in Week 1. “I think the depth we have with Clelin on run downs and Drake coming in, and the reinforcements we have at d-tackle, we’re in really good shape for this year.”

We’ll also get to watch the two highest-paid defensive players in NFL history on Sunday, as Bosa’s five-year, $170 million extension gives him an average annual value of $34 million, which surpassed the previous record held by Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($31.7 million). Bosa said he doesn’t know Donald well, but the respect is clearly there.

“Not much of a relationship, but I’ve talked to him a couple times,” Bosa said. “He’s definitely one of the best interior rushers that’s ever played. Definitely admire that.”

Bosa also smiled when asked if his $50 million signing bonus has been deposited in his bank account yet.

“Not quite,” Bosa said.

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