Kyle Shanahan defends Nick Bosa against “cheap shot” accusation

Michael David Smith

San Francisco defensive end Nick Bosa picked up a 15-yard penalty for an illegal blindside block on Minnesota offensive tackle Brian O'Neill on Sunday, but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan says Bosa wasn’t trying to do anything dirty.

Asked about comments from the Vikings that Bosa had hit O’Neill with a “cheap shot,” Shanahan took issue with that.

“I think people say ‘cheap shot’ when somebody gets hit violently and to me ‘cheap shot’ means your intent is to try to hurt someone,” Shanahan said, via “And I don’t think he’s thinking about that at all. That’s a normal block in football for a long time. The guy wasn’t completely out of the play. It was a guy who could’ve made the tackle, and Bosa went and hit him. That’s a rule. You can’t do that right now. You can’t hit a guy in that position.”

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Shanahan said he’s going to make sure the 49ers’ defensive players are well versed on the rules about how they can block after an interception, which Bosa may not have understood.

“Basically got to set a screen, which means let him hit you and just take it,” Shanahan said. “That’s part of this game. That’s what you got to do. And that’s what we’ll coach him up to do because you will get a penalty for that. But to say it’s a cheap shot means you’re trying to hurt someone and stuff, and I know that wasn’t the case.”

O’Neill did not return to the game after the hit from Bosa.

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