Brown just wants to be there for his team, and the Bengals have their best shot with him on the field. The battle in the trenches could be interesting, and he looks forward to the potential challenge of facing defensive end Nick Bosa and a chance to prove himself as a top left tackle in the league with another one of the best on the opposing sideline (if Trent Williams returns from the ankle injury that sidelined him in Week 7).
“This is what I got paid to do, what I get paid to do, playing against the best in the world,” Brown said. “So, super excited about the opportunity.”
Brown said he has faced Bosa, the former Ohio State defensive end who is the league’s top-paid defensive player, a couple times in the NFL and in his college days at Oklahoma as well.
The two matched up last year when Brown was with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Bosa had one sack, one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss in the 44-23 49ers loss. Pro Football Focus didn’t charge the sack to Brown, though. He only allowed two pressures and two hurries in 58 offensive snaps at left tackle. Bosa usually lines up against the opposing left tackle, on the right side of the defense.
“He’s a really good player, special talent,” Brown said. “I can’t remember how much they just gave him, but I think it’s $200-plus Ms (million) and he’s worth every penny,” Brown said. “I think him, and his brother (Joey Bosa) do a really good job of doing the little things right. They do a great job with their hands. Very accurate and very active, which is a rare combination that you see from a lot of guys with their type of athleticism. They are very fundamental.”
Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, only has 2.5 sacks through seven games, He’s coming off an 18.5-sack campaign in 2022 when he was the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in his third Pro Bowl season.
On the broadcast of the Monday Night Football game between the 49ers and Vikings this past week, injured Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers said his teams in the past had a list of plays they would run when Bosa wasn’t on the field, because he’s that good. They would try to take advantage with explosive plays when he was on the sidelines.
Bengals coach Zac Taylor jokingly cut off a question in his press conference Wednesday in regard to whether they would have special plays like that.
“No comment,” Taylor said with a smile. He paused and then continued: “We threw a touchdown pass to Tee Higgins against the Texans couple years ago in Houston. JJ Watt was out for one play.”
The Bengals already have faced another one of the top defensive ends in the league this season matching up against Myles Garrett in the opener against the Browns, and being in the AFC North, they are accustomed to seeing him and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt at least twice a year.
Taylor said the biggest difference in those three players is just how they move around.
“They’re all there all game-wreckers,” Taylor said. “They all play hard every single snap. They’re on the field all the time. They can move around. Maybe some of them move around more than others. But Bosa moves around a lot. ... It’s hard to talk about the differences because they all impact the game. You got to be aware of where they’re on a single snap.”
Cincinnati offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said it’s difficult to simulate a player like Bosa in practice, even with the offensive line having faced a top talent like Bengals defensive lineman Trey Hendrickson.
“There’s different styles, some guys have repertoire moves,” Callahan said. “Some guys have pure power and strength. Some guys have great speed off the ball. They all sort of have different traits where they’re elite and not all of them are the same. They’re all sort of built differently, so going against Trey is not the same as going against Nick and going against DJ (Reader) is not the same as going against Jeffrey Simmons. They’re just different styles of players, all equally incredibly effective.”
On the other side of the ball, the Bengals defensive line will be preparing for Williams, a former first-round pick (No. 4 overall) in 2010 and 10-time Pro Bowler. He did not practice Wednesday but 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said the team was extra cautious with him because of the short turnaround and playing surface in Minnesota.
Bengals at 49ers, 4:25 p.m., CBS, 700, 1530, 102.7, 104.7