PITTSBURGH, PA — Defensive end Nick Bosa has yet to report to the 49ers as he awaits a contract extension, but Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin fully expects to see the reigning AP Defensive Player of the Year when San Francisco arrives at Acrisure Stadium on Sunday.
“We are preparing for Bosa,” Tomlin said in his weekly news conference Tuesday. “It is prudent for us to assume that he’s going to be there and prepare in that vein as opposed to be surprised.”
Tomlin understands the 49ers’ situation better than most. Two years ago, T.J. Watt reported to training camp but didn’t participate in any team periods as he awaited an extension.
Four days before the Steelers opened at the Buffalo Bills in 2021, Watt agreed to a four-year extension worth $112 million. After one practice, Watt recorded 2 sacks, 1 tackle for loss and 5 quarterback hits in an upset victory.
“We got a deal done at the 11th hour,” Tomlin said of his experience with Watt. “He showed up in the stadium, and he was T.J. Watt that day. That’s what those guys do. They show up and they are who they are, and so we expect him to be there as a prudent approach to take. And if he’s going to be there, we know the type of player that he intends on being, and so that’s something to be dealt with.”
Watt wound up winning the 2021 AP Defensive Player of the Year that season and tied the single-season sack record with 22.5. Bosa is coming off a DPOY season of his own, earning it with 90 pressures and a league-leading 18.5 sacks. Like his coach, Steelers left tackle Dan Moore Jr. is also expecting to face Bosa in the season opener.
“We’re expecting him to be in the stadium, so that’s what we’ll lean on,” Moore Jr. said Monday. “… He’s a capable defender. We’re going to treat him with respect. I mean we’re expecting them to be out there and be full go.”