Bolts' Bosa eager to put injury-hit '18 behind him

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- One can understand why Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa wants to put 2018 in the rearview mirror.

The Ohio State product suffered a bruised left foot during training camp, forcing him to miss the first nine games of the regular season. He limped through the rest of year, finishing with a career-low 5.5 sacks.

However, through rest and rehab, Bosa successfully avoided surgery. And after diligent work this offseason, he's ready to get back on track. Entering his fourth season, the 24-year-old's 19 sacks in his first 20 NFL games is the most in league history.

"I don't like watching film from last year," Bosa said. "It was not me. I didn't have the same power, the same strength. It's not an excuse. It is what it is -- but it's a fresh slate this year. I kind of want to put that behind me, what happened last year.

"I'm in a much better place, knock on wood, and I hope to continue to stay healthy. I just want to keep improving."

Bosa went on to say battling through a nagging foot injury makes him grateful for starting training camp healthy this year.

"I don't know if it makes me a better player that I have a messed-up foot -- well, it's not messed up, but you know what I'm mean -- but going through that, I think I would have had an unbelievable year last year, and I would have added on this year. ... I was frustrated last year, but it's over now. I'm here at camp. It's a new year and I'm ready to go. I've had a great offseason. It was a tough process working to get back to where I was, but I did, and I exceeded it. So I'm where I want to be."

Adding motivation for Bosa this season is having his brother Nick Bosa just a seven-hour drive away.

The younger Bosa, selected No. 2 overall by the San Francisco 49ers in this year's draft, recently joined the Niners in training camp after signing his rookie deal, and the two talk daily. The older Bosa said the brothers compare notes because they are basically playing the same position in a similar defensive scheme.

"He's enjoying it out there," Joey Bosa said. "He had his first day yesterday at practice. He said he had a great day, so I'm sure I'm going to get some film sent over snapchat here pretty soon.

"It's so cool that we're going through it at the same time, and he's feeling healthy, which is what is important right now. It was nice to be able to train this year [together], just push each other in that aspect, now we're in the league together."

Bosa said he's also benefiting from having 36-year-old veteran linebacker Thomas Davis in the fold after joining the Bolts in free agency this offseason.

"Having him back there is unbelievable," Bosa said. "At his age, the way he can move around the field, it's fun to watch. Having him as a leader, giving me crap if I don't run off the field -- which I don't get enough -- that's good."