Anquan Boldin is the Calm in the 49ers’ Storm


Anquan Boldin may just be the San Francisco 49ers’ saving grace amidst one of the worst offseasons in NFL history.

While Boldin probably did not envision this type of chaos and turnover when he joined the Niners via trade from the Baltimore Ravens, Boldin has been arguably the Niners most consistent performer since his arrival.

Entering his third season with the Niners and 13th overall, Boldin has succeeded so far in turning his back on Father Time at the ripe age of 34. He collected his seventh career 1000-yard season and has gone over that plateau twice with the Niners while catching over 80 balls.

Digging a little deeper, his dependability has also been very apparent. As quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s most trusted receiver, Boldin has received 130 targets each of the past two seasons. A whopping 70% of his catches have gone for first downs, good for top 15 in the league the last couple of seasons.

As consistent as Boldin has been in putting up numbers for a lackluster Niners’ passing attack, his presence in the locker room is what sets him apart from other star wideouts. With Michael Crabtree crossing the Bay to the Oakland Raiders, Boldin is working to ensure that the Niners’ younger receivers break out this year.

‘You’ve got a lot of guys who have great talent fighting for a couple different spots,” Boldin said during training camp. “It’ll be a battle. Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington, I saw them last year so I’m looking forward to seeing them grow. And for the younger guys, I want to see them come in and make a name for themselves.”

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Boldin was also a huge factor in the Niners’ biggest free agent acquisition, WR Torrey Smith, making the jump out west from the Ravens. Smith often refers to Boldin as his “big bro” and the two hope to replicate their success from their Baltimore days together.

“He’s like a brother to me,” said Smith. “I look up to him and love him like a brother. He’s a great guy. We are just out there having fun.”

As demoralizing as the offseason has been for the Niners, high character guys like Boldin are the perfect elixir to mitigate all the negativity. He recognizes that the team must focus on who is left on the team presently, and cannot dwell on who is not here anymore.

“We know what we have to do,” Boldin said. “We have a job that we have to do. The guys that were here, they’re gone now. They’re not going to walk back through the doors”

“We know what we have to do,” Boldin said. “We have a job that we have to do. The guys that were here, they’re gone now. They’re not going to walk back through the doors. I think one of the bright spots last year, even though everybody said last year was a down year, we had a lot of injuries, so we had a lot of young guys who had to step in and play, which I think will go over well for us this year.”

You have to love Boldin’s attitude and optimism that are shining through on a seemingly downtrodden franchise. He refuses to listen to all the naysayers who continue to pile on to the Niners’ misfortunes. If the Niners are to truly surprise teams and prove the doubters wrong, the entire team must play with a chip on it’s shoulder and follow Boldin’s lead.

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