No. 2: Moving EDGE Nick Bosa Around
During the offseason, many pundits crowned EDGE Nick Bosa as the most pro-ready prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft class. It did not take long for Joe Staley to find out this assessment was 100 percent accurate. During OTAs, Bosa consistently beat Staley in one-on-one team drills and proved that the hype surrounding the Ohio State product was real.
Though Bosa typically lines up over the left tackle, a player of his caliber is a chess piece Robert Saleh has at his disposable and will need to be strategic in how he deploys him. With Ford at right end, it’s basically a race to the quarterback, and the pocket almost always collapses. Saleh will have move Bosa to the strong-side end to take advantage of less-talented tackles, and potentially inside to use his athleticism to create pressure up the middle.
Another strategy Saleh can use is the end-tackle twist/stunt, which was made famous by former San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio with then-defensive linemen Aldon Smith and Justin Smith during the head coach Jim Harbaugh years.
If the 49ers are going to continue to dominate on defense, particularly in the pass rush, Saleh is going to have to get creative with how he uses Bosa while Ford is out.