Below are three takeaways from Joey Bosa's end of season press conference as he reflected on his Pro Bowl season and looks ahead to 2022.
'My best year is to come next year'
Since getting drafted in 2016, Joey Bosa has been a staple of the Bolts defense, recording double digit sacks in four of his six seasons in the NFL. Recently, the outside linebacker reflected on his Pro Bowl season and how to improve heading into the second year under head coach Brandon Staley.
Bosa also gave insight into what the 2022 season has in store as he gets ready to begin his offseason program.
"I'm going to definitely do my best to have a really good offseason this year," Bosa said. "In my mind, I think my best year is to come next year. I want to have a really good offseason. I think I learned a lot this year about my game. I'm happy with the production that I had, getting those forced fumbles is good. I'm happy that I'm moving in the right direction on that front."
A point of emphasis for Bosa this past year was on strip sacks, focusing on going for the ball when getting to the quarterback. No. 97 parlayed that work he put in during the offseason to lead the league in strip sacks with seven on the year. He also came in second in forced fumbles in the NFL and recorded 10.5 sacks on the season to bring his career total to 58.0.
Bosa talked about what the Bolts need to focus on next season in order to punch their ticket into the playoffs. For him, it's all about having experience together as a unit to find success down the road.
"Keep playing together. Keep improving," Bosa said. "As time moves on, we get more experience together. It's only going to get better. There's no drastic changes that need to be made. There are plenty of games this year here or there that could have been the difference. That's kind of every year. It's just a process. We have to keep pushing forward."
OLBs producing in Staley's scheme
As Staley implemented his scheme in the offseason, one change he made was altering Bosa's position from defensive end to outside linebacker. Despite the switch, Bosa was able to adapt and put together the fourth Pro Bowl season of his career.
Bosa talked about how he got acclimated to the new scheme and areas where he feels he can improve heading into next year.
"It's a new system," Bosa said. "So, I have to keep getting better in the two-point [stance]. I think I need to be more aggressive coming off the ball in a two-point stance in the run. I could be better in the run and definitely in some areas. I just have to keep improving. I'm happy I made it feeling alright. I'm happy I was able to have some production."
Fellow outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, who flourished in the new system, talked about how Staley's scheme allowed him to make plays on game day.
"As you guys were able to witness this year, I feel like this system, I was very comfortable in what I was able to do," Nwosu said. "I was able to make plays, provide for my teammates, open up things for the guys and it would open up things for me. It went hand-in-hand and I was able to showcase my talents and what I 'm really capable of doing."
'Bright future' ahead
Bosa described the Chargers' unfortunate end to the season as a 'hard-fought battle' against the Raiders in Week 18. Despite the loss, he echoed what Staley and a lot of his teammates said following the season: the future is bright for the Bolts.
"You have to be proud of everybody on our team," Bosa said. "I mean, we really gave it our all out there, which is what you ask for out there. It's great to see everybody fighting and clawing to the last minute out there. I'm upset, of course, but I still look to the future and I see a very bright future with a lot of young talent."
Bosa also explained how he impressed he was with the team's ability to perform as they all adjusted to a new system in the first year of a new coaching staff.
"I see a group that was in their first year in a system," he said. "It's a pretty complex system. It's going to take a while to master. The fact that we had the year that we did, which was a pretty successful year in my books, I'm pretty happy with it."
With the offseason now in full force, Bosa explained he wants to experiment with new training methods and focus on fine tuning his pass rush as he heads into his seventh year in the NFL.
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