49ers' Nick Bosa describes J.J. Watt as 'one-of-one' defensive lineman

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Bosa describes retiring Watt as 'one-of-one' defensive lineman originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SANTA CLARA — J.J. Watt easily was the NFL's most dominant defensive player over a four-season span from 2012 through 2015.

Watt was so unique that a young Nick Bosa, a football junkie from the time he first put on pads, did not see a whole lot from Watt that could be implemented into his own game.

“I obviously watched him growing up,” Bosa said. “He’s one of the best ever. He’s kind of like a one-of-one kind of guy. You’re not going to get too much [from watching him] unless you’re him.”

Watt announced two weeks ago his intention to retire at the conclusion of his 12th season in the NFL. After playing 10 years with the Houston Texans, Watt played the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

Watt’s final game is against the 49ers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

After four dominant seasons with the Texans, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year had an injury-plagued back half of his career.

He rebounded nicely this season with 10.5 sacks heading into the Cardinals’ season finale.

What made Watt so unique was his size and strength. He often played out of his gap, which is something no coach would teach. But Watt could use his power and quickness to get back into his proper alignment and make plays.

“He’s just a ginormous,” Bosa said, “and plays with great extension, gets off guys, he can play anywhere along the line.”

Bosa said the one thing that applies to him is that Watt could move around the line to find a matchup that suited him best. Bosa, the current NFL Defensive Player of the Year favorite with a league-leading 17.5 sacks, has done the same thing with the 49ers.

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Bosa said he prefers to study such players as DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller or Aaron Donald for their skill and technique. He admires Watt for his pure physical excellence.

“You can’t argue he was dominant,” Bosa said. “He was just better than everybody.”

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