The next few days are among the hardest for NFL prospects as they nervously await their fate in the upcoming draft.
It was exactly one year ago that Joey Bosa was in their shoes, wondering where he'd end up. One team he knew was hot on his trail was the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars owned the fourth overall selection, so Bosa spent an afternoon in Jacksonville where he had a long meeting with their head coach. He left feeling Bradley's system was an ideal fit for his skillset.
Fast forward one year and the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year gets to put his theory to the test. Bradley was named the Bolts' defensive coordinator in January, and on Tuesday, number 99 took to the field under him for the first time.
"I like Gus a lot," Bosa said following the first session of the team's voluntary three-day minicamp. "Once I met him during the draft process when he was the head coach at Jacksonville, I liked him from the start. When I heard he was going to be our defensive coordinator I couldn't have been happier with the decision. I feel what we are running this year fits me better."
That's scary to think considering the year Bosa authored as a rookie.
The dynamic defensive end led the Chargers with 10.5 sacks in only 12 games. He posted the most sacks by an NFL rookie since 2011, which were the second most by a Chargers rookie (O'Neal – 12.5). In addition, Bosa notched 48 total tackles, 45 pressures, 19 tackles for loss, 15 QB hits, two passes defensed and one forced fumble. He ﬁnished the season with at least a half sack in the final six games, which is the longest stretch by any Chargers player since Marcellus Wiley had sacks in seven straight in 2001.
While acknowledging the previous regime put him in position to succeed, Bosa believes Bradley's system can help take him to the next level.
"I came from a 4-3 defense (in college)," he explained. "Going back to that is going to be nice…There really isn't too crazy of a difference. I'm playing the five technique. I'm playing the six technique, (but) I really won't be in the three much this year. They are going to work on getting me in the nine technique a lot on the edge."
In addition to the X's and O's, Bradley is known to be one of the NFL's premier motivators. Bosa explained what it is that makes the new defensive coordinator so inspiring.
"Just his energy. He's a deep thinker. His positivity and obviously his football knowledge more importantly than anything. We need a guy to come in and stay positive. Obviously when you have 100 football players walking around not everyone is going to be in the right mindset and happy all the time. To have a guy like that brings the energy and positivity around along with being a really great coach; he can back all that up."