49ers rookie Nick Bosa benefiting from developing bond with Joe Staley


SANTA CLARA -- When 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa took the practice field Monday, it dawned on him just how long it had been since he strapped on his football pads.

“Every day you get the butterflies. It’s that kind of sport,” Bosa said. “You’re going full speed against another grown man, so it’s nerve-wracking. But once you get that first hit, the first play, those all go away and it starts to be fun.”

Bosa’s final season at Ohio State ended on Sept. 15 with a core muscle injury. After the 49ers selected Bosa with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, he sat out the bulk of the 49ers’ offseason program due to a mild hamstring strain.

Bosa comes to the NFL with a greater knowledge of his craft than most rookies. His father, John, was a first-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1987, and his older brother, Joey, was the No. 3 overall selection of the Chargers in 2016.

The first three days of practices have been highlighted by Bosa’s interactions with 49ers’ six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley.

Bosa beat Staley badly on three occasions in the first practice. Staley got the better part of Bosa on Day 2.

“He would tell you (Saturday) was his first day back, so he’s just getting his feet under him, getting his hands right, getting his feet right,” Bosa said. “I definitely got him a couple of times and he’s definitely going to come back strong on me, I’m sure.”

And on Day 3, with Staley taking a veteran day off, those two still managed to spend time together during a special-teams period on Monday to go through run-game technique.

“We’ve built a really good relationship. He’s a super nice guy,” Bosa said of Staley. “I don’t usually be nice to offensive linemen, but it’s hard not to be nice to him. He’s such a good dude and he’s been a really good influence on me. It’s good to go against one of the best who ever did it. Any reps I can get against him are good reps for me.”

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Bosa’s most notable play in practice Monday was his final play on 11-on-11 when swing tackle Shon Coleman, filling in for Staley, was seen pancaking him at the end of a run play to that side. Bosa pointed out that before that occurred, he got the would-be tackle.

“I actually tagged up the running back and Shon wanted to keep pushing me back,” Bosa said.

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