San Francisco 49ers star and one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, Nick Bosa, always sets the bar high, especially for his own performances. So, it isn’t surprising that the player isn’t quite happy with how he has been playing so far this year, putting some of the blame on the contract holdout that prevented him from training with the team going into the 2023 season.

Trying To Find His Pass-Rushing Game

Bosa admitted that some of his recent performances may have suffered due to the holdout, telling The Athletic that he had to make up for the time lost by working “on the run” on things he would have otherwise tried out during camp. 

Nick Bosa’s camp-long holdout with the Niners over his contract ended only four days before the start of the season. Bosa and the 49ers agreed to an extension of his contract, a deal that made him the most expensive defensive player in NFL history. However, not being able to take part in the camp may have come at a price.

The Niners’ best defensive player thinks the holdout may be to blame for his poor performances against the Pittsburgh Steelers in San Francisco’s first game of the season, as well as the surprise defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.

Bosa said that in those two games he “was thinking too much” and “trying to add something” to his rush plan. The 3-time Pro Bowl star added that instead of changing his rush plan, he wanted to lock in on what worked and stick with it the whole season, so he was looking to be more focused in future games.

Bosa Looking to Get Sacks in the Games That Matter

Despite not being too happy with his performances, Bosa’s defensive stats are still among the best in the league. He has 17 quarterback hits and his 29 quarterback pressures put him level with top defensive players like Aaron Donald of the LA Rams and Las Vegas defensive end Maxx Crosby.

Bosa also has 2.5 sacks per game, which is far from impressive, but that is a statistical category that is not always indicative of a bad pass-rushing performance. For instance, Bosa mentioned the Cleveland game where he got one sack, but played badly. In contrast, he pointed to some “really good” performances that weren’t sack games.

Bosa’s goal is to “stay the course” and put himself in the right positions. The 2022 NFL Defensive Player of the Year said he was trying to play up to his standard and hoped that the important sacks came “in the biggest moments” of the season.