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Joey Bosa Posts Season for the Ages...And He's Only 22
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After a stellar first season in the NFL where he earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, many wondered how Joey Bosa would respond in year two.
Needless to say, Bosa had a season for the ages, further establishing himself as one of the NFL’s most-feared pass rushers.
The league most definitely took note.
“Bosa plays really hard,” mentioned New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “Every play, he’s all out. He’s really just good at everything, but he’s got a great motor so you’ve got to deal with him every play. You can’t run away from him; that’s not the answer, because he'll chase down plays.”
“It’s hard to compare him to others…and they say it usually takes five or six years to kind of come up with your pass rush plan and how you want to attack people,” added Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley. “I think for (Bosa), he knows it in just his second year. (Defensive Line Coach) Giff Smith done a great job with him. But it just feels like he has a plan already at this stage of his career, and that’s what makes him unique.”
Bosa finished the 2017 campaign with 70 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss. Additionally, he had four forced fumbles (fourth in the NFL), 21 QB hits and set a new career-high for sacks in a single season (12.5). Against the Patriots, he set an NFL record for the most sacks by a player in his first 20 games (19).
Stemming from his time at Ohio State, Bosa has high standards when it comes to winning. After going 5-11 in 2016, the Chargers went 9-7 in ’17 and narrowly missed out on the playoffs. Despite not making the postseason, Bosa felt the team never wavered, and their bond and grit helped right the ship to overcome their 0-4 start.
“It’s a completely different team; you can feel the confidence (and) everything all around,” Bosa said. “Energy, effort, the love for each other. It’s easy for one guy to bring down the entire team. I’m not saying that’s what was happening last year, but you have a few of them scattered about and it’s hard. In each position group, it’s hard to get guys moving in the right direction if everybody is not on the same page. I think we finally found that and everybody is working towards the common goal, and creating a culture that’s winning.”
Additionally, the Pro Bowl defensive end has high hopes for the 2018 season. After finishing 2017 the way they did, he believes the Bolts can capitalize on that culture and soar to new heights come September.
“I mean, we lost the first four (games) and we won nine of the last 12. It’s a pretty awesome way to finish the year. We have unbelievable talent in both Keenan (Allen) and Melvin (Gordon). It’s a really deep team, and if we would’ve pulled off a couple of plays here and there, then we might (have been) top of our division. But we have a lot of promise. Hopefully we have the same team next year, with a couple of additions.”Read