SANTA CLARA — It’s not just the 49ers' offense that learns from film sessions with Kyle Shanahan. Nick Bosa believes the defense learns just as much from their head coach.
“I think he does a really good job of describing what exactly we need to emphasize,” Bosa told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. “He goes through it all. I’ve never been with anybody else so I can’t say whether it’s better or worse, but he just knows football so well."
Shanahan is known for his offensive prowess, but when he was an offensive quality control coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2004-2005, the future head coach spent hours in defensive meeting rooms. Knowing what a defense could disguise and scheme, influenced how he saw the game of football and that knowledge is passed on to his players.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
Known for his extensive explanations of plays during team meetings, Shanahan has been known to go through one play for upwards of an hour. While it might sound overwhelming, Shanahan's players find the film sessions as important as they are intriguing.
“I definitely pay attention when he’s talking,” Bosa said. “Because you get all the perspectives from the defensive side people, but hearing what they might be playing against you, is good. Also, there are so many coaches in the league that are stemming from what he does.”
Knowing what could be coming and the tendencies of opposing offenses can be an advantage for Bosa and the 49ers' defense. An example of that was the defensive line's selfless play in the Week 13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Instead of looking to pad their statistics, the defensive line stayed disciplined to prevent Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts from running out of the pocket. The 49ers came away from the City of Brotherly Love with a 42-19 win and Hurts, who is known for his running ability was held to just seven carries for 20 rushing yards.
San Francisco 49ers
Bosa believes that Shanahan’s involvement on all sides of the game has helped the team’s success.
“If he sees something in the defensive game plan in the beginning of the week that he doesn’t like, he’s changing it and then it goes down the line from there,” Bosa said. “I feel like when you’re tied in as an organization, it all works better.”
The 49ers have a huge challenge ahead on Monday Night Football when the AFC's No. 1 seed, the Baltimore Ravens, come to town. The Ravens boast the strongest run game in the NFL and their quarterback, Lamar Jackson, has carried the ball 135 times for a team-high 741 rushing yards and five touchdowns.