"I like to say that I'm more comfortable out there and the game has kind of slowed down for me," Bowman told 49ers.com. "It's allowed me to make a lot of plays. I'm just out there trying to get the win for my team."
Bowman has forced six turnovers this season and recovered two fumbles, cementing his place in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.
Always humble, Bowman doesn't get caught up in the accolades, but he admitted that it would be a tremendous honor to take home the NFL's top defensive award.
"Just thinking about my rookie year and how far I came, it just means a lot," the 2010 third-round pick said. "It shows that I've put the work in and people are starting to recognize it."
It also helps that Bowman is able to understand what defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is trying to accomplish with each every call and also adjust to audibles by the opposing offense.
PHOTO GALLERY: Bowman's 2013 Season
"As good as the coaches coach, as a player, you want to get close to that," Bowman said. "You're out there trying to execute, so if you can think like a coach, it can definitely make you a better player."
Bowman used Fangio's teachings to his advantage on one of the greatest plays in 49ers history, "The Pick at the 'Stick."
With the Atlanta Flacons threatening to take the lead or tie in the final regular season game at Candlestick Park, Fangio called "Max Zero Train," an all-out blitz with single coverage on each receiver. Bowman, who was assigned to rush the passer, made an audible of his own.
San Francisco's defense will have to come up with more big plays when it faces the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs’ Wild Card round. The 49ers have beaten the Packers in three straight contests, something Bowman doesn't take for granted.
"They're good when Aaron Rodgers is back there and he's comfortable and especially when they're at home," Bowman said. "As (Jim Harbaugh) always says, we're going to have to pack the defense. I'm sure if we do that, we'll be fine."
Bowman played in sub-zero temperatures at Penn State, something he'll probably have to do again in Green Bay with a low of minus-16 degrees forecasted for Sunday.
"Iowa in Penn State," Bowman said, remembering the coldest game he'd played in. "I had to go out there and it was 3-below. Back in college, all you could think about was the school work you had coming up next week. Here, we're playing for the Super Bowl so all that goes out the window."