NFL Draft

Bosa Family Business


San Diego’s first-round pick is shrugg’n off the hype and ready to get to work.

At first glance, you can understand the comparisons between Joey Bosa and Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt, especially since Bosa is sporting a new haircut (which, by the way, was a trending topic on Twitter after the opening night of the draft). Additionally noted were the copy-and-paste comparisons to their Combine numbers, which were almost identical while five years apart.

What really captured my attention were two things: 1) his solid family values; and 2) his near obsessive work ethic, which Watt is also known for.

Researching Bosa’s family history and actually meeting his parents on Friday at Chargers Park, I understood the origin of both. It’s been previously reported that Bosa’s great-grandfather was Chicago mob boss Tony Accardo, whose nickname was “Joe Batters.” For the record, I don’t think it was because he played baseball.

Fortunately, the new family business is football. Joey’s father, John Bosa, was a defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins. Joey’s younger brother, Nick, just committed to follow in his brothers footsteps at Ohio State.

Both Joey and Nick wore their father’s number, No. 97. It was announced on Friday that Bosa’s Chargers jersey will don No. 99, presumably because Jeremiah Attaochu is No. 97. Ironically, No. 99 is the same number Watt wears.

To say that Bosa is excited is an understatement, but since he doesn’t show it, you really have to pay attention. It’s like a simmering pot of water close to boiling … unless you take off the lid, you will never see it.

Come Sept. 11, when San Diego’s regular season kicks off, I guarantee we are gonna see the lid come flying off. This also makes me love his signature post sack and tackle shrug, known to Ohio fans as the “Bosa Shrug.” He drills the life out of quarterbacks and then comes up and gives a shrug like, “Oops, did I do that?”


At just 20 years old, Bosa is driven and meticulous. He made it here because of his work ethic and family support that kept him grounded while he was a virtual celebrity at Ohio State.

As his father puts it, “I’m proud of what he’s done, proud of how he’s handled it. He’s just a football player. He wants to get back to work. I think that’s what San Diego will love and these coaches will love about him is he’s never satisfied. He always wants to get better every day. I think that’s what makes great players great. He’s just never happy with his performance. He always wants to get better.”

Bosa’s mom, Cheryl, commended him for his sacrifices and staying focused.

“He’s just a good boy who’s becoming an even better man,” she said.

Bosa was a leader with the Buckeyes and, as he put it, “a pretty good run defender.” That is something the Chargers desperately need after being tagged second-worst in the league in 2015 at defending the run.

And while most rookies come into a veteran team under the radar, Bosa is coming in ready to be a teammate who’s ready to go to work.

“I will accept my role as a rookie, but I’m not gonna shy away from stepping up,” he said.

Bosa is pumped up coming into a team that had a tough time winning last season. He wants to “get that taste in their mouths what it’s like to win again.”

If he has his way, shrugging may become the new dabbing of 2016.

Jody Taylor is a retired women’s pro football player and former media relations director for the Women’s Professional Football League. She has been published in Sports Illustrated, CNN, Time and several sports media outlets covering the WPFL, Arena Football League and NFL. She is the founder of Sixty5 Media in San Diego and coaches for the NFL’s Flag/Play 60 program in San Diego. Follow her @RealJodyTaylor.

About Jody Taylor

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