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Joey Bosa praises rookie Tuli Tuipulotu, focused on improving run defense in 2023

Bosa admitted his run defense has been lacking as of late and is determined to turn things around.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Rookie Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Bosa was the first Charger to hit the podium on Thursday following the team’s second training camp practice.

He fielded a handful of questions, including inquiries about his physical health, rookie edge rusher Tuli Tuipulotu, and the biggest thing the defense needs to work on heading into the new season.

Here are my thoughts on each of those topics.

Joey Bosa is back to being a bigger bear

In regards to his physical health, Bosa admitted to reporters that he played at 250 pounds during the 2022 season. That’s quite the contrast from previous seasons where he’s always weighed in around 265 to 270 pounds. Per Bosa, he slimmed down to make the transition to a standup outside linebacker smoother which is a role that at times — although seldomly — has him dropping into coverage. After two seasons where he felt that his power was lacking which directly effected his ability as a run defender, Bosa decided it was time to put weight back on and he’s now up to 265 once again.

During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Bosa recorded 18 and 15 tackles for loss, respectively. Albeit injured for most of 2022, those numbers have dropped to five and three during each of the past two campaigns. A full bear is a strong bear, so I predict we’ll see the best version of Bosa this year should the position stay relatively healthy this season.

Rookie EDGE Tuli Tuipulotu is making an impression

When asked about his new rookie running mate, Bosa was quick to call Tuli “everything that you could possibly want in a rookie.” As of day two of training camp, Bosa lauded about the rookie’s physical makeup and his noteworthy work ethic. However, there’s one thing about Tuli that really throws Bosa off.

“He calls me ‘Sir,’ which I think is super weird. I’m not THAT old.”

If there’s anything to call “off” about a rookie, I’m glad it’s a surprising amount of manners as opposed to a million other things that could be detrimental to their growing relationship.

Bosa went on to jokingly say that Tuli might actually know the playbook better than he does at this point, noting that the rookie always on top of everything at all times.

“He just wants to learn, wants to get better.”

Joey isn’t afraid to call himself out

When asked about the biggest thing the defense has been working on over the offseason, no one was surprised to hear about the run defense. However, Bosa wasted little time in pinning a lot of the blame on himself. I touched on some of it above, but Bosa was honest and admitted that he feels his ability as a run defender has been lackluster the past few seasons and that has put a fire under him to get back to the player he was during the aforementioned 2019 and 2020 seasons.

On a side note, I’m pretty sure Bosa mentioned that both him and Khalil mack each put on some weight during the offseason in an attempt to play with more power in the run game. That’s a good sign that the players believe there was more to work on besides just the Xs and Os part of the game.