Joey Bosa was one of the best rookies in the NFL this past season. In fact, he was one of the best pass rushers in football, finishing with 10.5 sacks in 12 games.
Few people could have predicted such a strong debut from Bosa, who missed camp while holding out due to a contract dispute. Even Bosa wasn’t sure how his rookie season was unfold.
“I was worried,” the Chargers defensive end said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think if I would have came in and I would have played that first game in Kansas City, I would have been seriously injured with my hamstring. It’s a blessing in disguise that it happened when it did and I met a great guy, Todd Rice. He’s taught me amazing things, how to take care of my body. Him rehabbing me in a short couple of weeks, I felt like I was more ready to play than I had been in my entire life. So by Week 4 rolled around, I was 100 percent confident and ready to go out there and play. I think that had a big thing to do with it.”
Some Chargers were reportedly upset that Bosa held out, but the 21-year-old said that wasn’t the case.
“Totally taken out of context,” Bosa said. “It’s totally taken out of context. It’s like any news. They take the worst part of the sentence and they put it in the article. It’s (Antonio) Gates who was one of the guys who said something. He was totally on my side. He’s been great to me all year. All the vets, the second I showed up, of course there was the funny jokes, but they’ve all been great to me.”
Bosa enjoyed his first year in San Diego, but the Chargers are in the midst of a relocation. They’ll be playing for a new head coach (Anthony Lynn) in a new city (Los Angeles) in 2017.
“It’s definitely different, and it can chew you up and spit you out, which a lot of people have been telling me,” Bosa said. “It’s going to be what we make of it. I’m obviously going to take every opportunity I have being in L.A.”
Of course, it’ll be interesting to see if Los Angeles actually embraces the Chargers, who went 5-11 this year and are 9-23 over the last two seasons.
Bosa, however, is confident that Los Angeles will support the team.
“If we win, all will be forgiven – and just like me, all was forgiven when I came out and I had two sacks (in my first game),” Bosa said. “It was ancient history after that. We’ve got a lot of great young talent and likable guys on our team. So I think we’ll have the support.”