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Inside Joey Bosa's Impressive Debut

It was a long time coming, but Joey Bosa made the most of his NFL debut.

As impressive as it was, the defensive end stood in the locker room after the 34-31 loss stating how he'd have traded it all in for a win.

That still shouldn't take away from the 21-year old's performance. 

What made it particularly impressive is that Sunday was the first time Bosa played in a game since New Year's Day with the Ohio State Buckeyes. A contract dispute cost him the entire preseason while a hamstring injury sidelined him the first month of the season.

Taking the field for the first time in over ninth months, the third overall pick recorded five tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and two QB hurries.  Perhaps most noteworthy, he did so on just 27 plays as the team managed his snap count. 

In other words, Bosa made a significant impact while playing in just 38% of the team's defensive snaps.  That number figures to grow as he gets his feet under him.

So how was Bosa able to have success?

"It's football," he simply said. "It's (the) same as college except (the) players are all better, so I've been doing it my whole life (and) it felt pretty natural. It's nice to get the butterflies out because I was pretty nervous running that scheme. (There was) a lot of tension leading up to this moment, but I'm happy with how I played. I know I can play a lot better but until we start winning, it doesn't really matter."

As number 99 noted, it's hard to get excited when success comes in a loss. However, it is equally hard not to take notice of how he performed.  When Bosa sacked Derek Carr, he did so with a pair of explosive hits that sent a message.  He also showed off his nonstop motor by running back toward the sticks after a completion to hit Amari Cooper from behind.

It's also worth noting how the Bolts used Bosa in a number of ways, lining him up in different areas in order to maximize his skillset.

"It's up to the coaches (where I line up)," he explained.  "They put me in the right position to do what I do.  So yeah, we'll see moving forward. Next week I'm sure we'll start integrating me more into the first and second down. They've got a good plan on defense so I'm just going to follow them."

Bosa explained he was nervous to get out there, and that it took a couple series to get comfortable and back into the swing of things. If he did have butterflies, it was hardly noticeable.

"From the sideline, from what I saw, it's what you expect from a player like that," Head Coach Mike McCoy said. "There's a number of plays you look and say, 'Wow, there's the wow factor.' He played lights out." 

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