49ers Pregame Routine: Nick Bosa makes big impact on San Francisco with weekly speeches

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Nick Bosa has been making a high-profile impact for the San Francisco 49ers on Sundays ever since entering the league as the No. 2 overall pick in 2019.

Bosa also has been making more hidden — but still important — contributions every Saturday the past two seasons by breaking down the team with a speech at the end of the final walkthrough before each game.

“I hear every one of them,” general manager John Lynch said. “You don’t miss those because they’re special. They really are. The kid, he doesn’t say a lot, but when he does, it’s very prophetic.”

The soft-spoken Bosa was given the assignment for the first time during the 2022 season as coach Kyle Shanahan liked to randomly call on players to keep them all on their toes.

Bosa’s first was followed by a win so Shanahan called on him again the following week. The Niners won again and it hasn’t stopped as he grows more comfortable each week.

“It’s become our tradition,” Shanahan said. “Nick’s gotten really good at it. I remember he has always been good at it. But it’s funny how guys who are so confident in everything they do, they’re just not used to always speaking in front of groups. He used to tell me that was the most nervous he’d be throughout the whole week. … I think earlier this year he thanked me. He was like, ‘Hey, thanks for doing that by the way. I’ve gotten better at it. I’m not as nervous anymore.’

“He is really good at it. Everything he says he thinks through. Nick doesn’t waste words because he doesn’t use many of them.”

The speeches aren’t long, lasting just a few minutes. Bosa said he’s surprised he doesn’t remember what he said the first time because he usually remembers “traumatic experiences.”

But he’s gotten better at it — and more comfortable — each week.

“It’s been good for me,” he said. “I’ve kind of enjoyed dealing with the stress and facing something I’m not used to.”

Lynch compared the soft-spoken speeches to the ones he heard as a player in Tampa Bay from his Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy.

Bosa might draw on a book he had read, a past experience, something specific about the game or a message from his gut.

Whatever he says always resonates.

“It’s the substance of what he says and his teammates really look forward to it,” Lynch said. “We all do. Because it gives us a little direction and Kyle does a great job. But then it’s Bosa time. Bosa gets up there and he doesn’t ever not deliver on Saturdays. It’s must see viewing. It’s really become an important part of who we are.”

Bosa says he’s not a “rah-rah” guy and uses few words so they all have an impact.

It doesn’t hurt that he is also one of the team’s hardest workers and most productive players. He won Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 and has 63 1/2 sacks in 79 games in the regular season and playoffs.

“Bosa is a Defensive Player of the Year so if he talks you listen,” teammate Charvarius Ward said. “He does a good job of motivating us and getting us locked in for the game.”

Bosa said earlier this week that he already had a few ideas for his pre-Super Bowl speech but wasn’t about to divulge them.

But he was set to deliver the speech on Saturday and the Niners hope it will be a victorious one.

“Whenever I think about it, I kind of get anxious,” he said. “But once I get it down what I’m thinking what I’m going to say, I’ll be fine.”


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