Mike Tomlin is ‘preparing’ Steelers for Nick Bosa despite holdout

Sep 6, 2023, 7:30 AM | Updated: 2:37 pm

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the preseason game against the Bu...

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The San Francisco 49ers are up against the clock with Nick Bosa, as the two sides have still been unable to agree to a contract extension. That, in turn, casts reasonable doubt over his availability for Week 1’s clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But don’t tell Mike Tomlin that, who is preparing as if the Red & Gold will be at full strength Sunday.

The Steelers coach gave his first presser of the week Tuesday, confirming that the team is preparing for the star pass rusher to be on the field for the 49ers. Obviously, they hope that isn’t the case. But you never know in today’s world, wanting to do his due diligence in game-planning.

“We are preparing for Bosa,” Mike Tomlin said. “It is prudent for us to assume that he’s going to be there and prepare in that vein as opposed to be surprised.”

The Steelers also see parallels with one of their players.

Two years ago, star edge rusher T.J. Watt stayed away from the practice field until a new contract was agreed upon, holding out with the franchise. Those talks lingered into the start of the season, finally agreeing to terms on Sept. 9th, the day the NFL season kicked off.

Seeing similarities with both players’ pedigree, Tomlin knows that a deal can be struck at any time for Nick Bosa. And he also knows that practice time doesn’t really matter with these guys, expecting the same Bosa as always on Sunday.

“We got a deal done at the 11th hour,” Mike Tomlin said about Watt’s contract talks. “He showed up in the stadium, and he was T.J. Watt that day. That’s what those guys do. They show up and they are who they are, and so we expect him to be there as a prudent approach to take. And if he’s going to be there, we know the type of player that he intends on being, so that’s something to be dealt with.”

The 49ers & Steelers kick off their regular season at 1 p.m. local time in Pittsburgh. Whether Nick Bosa will be there remains to be seen.

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