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The Joey Bosa Saga Started In April, But His Legacy Begins On Sunday

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Assuming Mike McCoy makes the right decision here, of course. But when does that ever happen?

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NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Notre Dame vs Ohio State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a conspiracy theorist, you’d probably imagine that the editors and contributors of BFTB have some daily hangout spot, where we talk trash about BFTBers and conjure up our infamous, anti-Chargers storylines using all sorts of voodoo and witchcraft.

And you would be...wrong!

However, we do have a chat that some of the biggest football junkies I have ever seen tend to frequent daily, sometimes hourly. And one constant of these conversations is this name: Myles Garrett.

Now, I really did not know who the hell Myles Garrett was. Given the correlation between the Chargers stinking it up and the continued name-dropping, I figured Garrett to be one of the top prospects in next year’s draft class. Since I do not watch nearly as much college football as I used to, my only frame of reference would naturally end up being YouTube highlight tapes.

So, after Jason Verrett’s story broke, I decided to hit up YouTube. I proceeded to watch some LaDainian Tomlinson highlights because, well, it feels good as a Chargers fan to sink into the nostalgia of #21, especially when the team hits rock bottom for the umpteenth year in a row.

Eventually, I meandered around and arrived at Myles Garrett’s highlights, and let’s just say I liked what I saw.

The next pit stop, as always, was Pro Football Focus. As I worked my way through the article, I found this intriguing tidbit:

We now have two years of college data under our belts at PFF, doubling the sample size for all of the stats and grades that we had a year ago. While Tennessee’s Barnett graded slightly better as a pass rusher in 2015 (+42.7 to +42.4), the only defensive end with a higher pass rushing grade than Garrett over the past two seasons is former Ohio State Buckeye, and current San Diego Charger, Joey Bosa. Considering just how dominant Bosa was in college, that’s some pretty impressive company for Garrett to keep.

So, why did I spend three hundred and twenty-eight words—or approximately half a minute of your reading time, if Wikipedia can be trusted—just to mention an article that happens to namedrop the now infamous Charger? Because, quite simply, we have forgotten just how dominant Joey Bosa was for the last three years.

Not only did he pass the advanced analytics test, he seemed to be the guaranteed lock for the first overall pick in late 2015. Then, what I like to call “The Jahlil Okafor Effect” hit him—the guy who is definitely gonna be number one overall come draft time gets poked and prodded beyond oblivion, until “analysts” deem him to have too many holes and he thus plummets down draft boards.

Having said all of that, I was not a fan of the pick at the time. Deforest Buckner was my guy, and I thought Telesco’s smartest move would be to trade down and draft the massive DE from Oregon.

Nevertheless, I had watched enough of Bosa at tOSU—and seen how much of a game-wrecker he was—to be okay with the Chargers’ pick after spending a lot of time thinking about it. No, he will not be J.J. Watt, but I appreciated the athletic upside he brought to the game, though most of those “analysts” will tell you he’s just another white guy who relies on his “instincts” and “smarts”. Besides, we have not seen a pass-rusher with this much potential since Shawne Merriman skipped town.

And that’s why, recently, I’ve run into some problems.

Yup, this man burned his $100 jersey just two days ago.

I mean, free country, I guess...but c’mon, cuz! That’s just, like, being cavalier with your finances, man!

The amount of hate Bosa has received from Chargers fans is downright uncalled for. Everywhere I go on throughout the Twittersphere (and associated Interwebs), there’s Bosa the Bust this or Go Back Crying to Your Mama! that. No wonder he felt the need to prove the haters wrong back in August when he signed.

Regardless of which side you fell on during the holdout debacle, there’s no denying the fact that the Chargers should have done everything possible to get Joey into camp. Yeah, it’s an overused cliché, but no matter how great fitness a player might be in, there’s nothing like being in football shape, which 31 other teams’ training camp prepares you for.

So yeah, Bosa hurt his hamstring pretty quickly after his return, and I really cannot say I was surprised. And hamstrings are known, particularly in football, for being as lingering of an injury as they come.

Chargers fans—you’re telling me that a team so infamous for injuries that we’ve lost five players to ACL tears and three to Achilles injuries four games into the season should rush their third overall pick onto the field? Everyone acts like he has so much to prove, that he’s soft and he’s (I’ll shy away from profanity here to keep some semblance of journalistic integrity) a lame-o.

The thing Bosa has to prove is that he can take an otherworldly college career and turn it into success in the NFL. He was the third overall pick for a reason; after all, if the stomping ground of college football does not truly “prove” a player, then what’s the point of the sport, besides making millions for the programs and screwing over thousands of human beings?

I’m getting ahead of myself. One scathing take at a time.

The truth of the matter is, we have our first Top 5 pick since LT taking the field this weekend. Yeah, this season has sucked so far, and we still got three-quarters of it to go. But if Bosa’s first appearance in lightning bolts does not give you that excited, tingling, goosebumps feeling, I think you need to find a different team to root for.

BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Notre Dame Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sure, our defense lacks in depth, but this Sunday, the Chargers will be trotting out the most talented defensive line we’ve seen since Castillo and Williams. And if a healthy Bosa turns out to be the game-wrecker we hope him to be, man-oh-man, that trio of Mebane, Liuget, and Bosa will be something to see.

To all those dubbing him “Bosa the Bust”...well, I don’t really comprehend the logic behind labeling a guy as a bust when he has not played a single down in the NFL.

But anyway, for the sake of the sad, depressing thing I call my Chargers fandom, here’s hoping you are completely wrong about the guy. Here’s hoping he comes into the game showing every bit of explosion, every bit of finesse that had him touted so high.

Hell, why stop there? Joey Bosa, go out there and get four sacks in an OBJ-like coming-out party!

And, Mike? Yeah, McCoy. Yup, Coach of the Chargers. No, I’m not talking about a different Mike McCoy. No, Mike, stop hiding inside your jacket like it’s a turtle shell. There’s nothing to worry about, you work for the Spanoses. They’re too cheap to fire you.

MIKE! GET OVER HERE AND STOP HIDING BEHIND JOHN PAGANO! HE MAY KNOW HOW TO “DISGUISE” A DEFENSE, BUT THAT CERTAINLY DOES NOT MEAN IT’S EVER EFFECTIVE!

Mike, assuming Joey’s active and healthy for the game, play the man. The franchise needs it right now. Joey needs it right now. I, as a fan, need it right now. Don’t give us some stupid reason for limiting Bosa in your post game interview. If he’s on the active roster, play the man and do not look back.

(What’s that, Mike? Why yes, you were a good boy—here’s your cookie.)

I’ll leave this GIF here as a sign-off.

McCoy Flying Steak