Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/14/13
You talk about immediate impact, Anquan Boldin quickly proved that picking up this proven All-Pro, Super Bowl champion was a very smart move for San Francisco. Last Sunday Boldin absolutely destroyed the Green Bay Packers secondary in a big 34-28 opening win. There were whispers that he was too old, overpaid, blah, blah, blah. You 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown has a way of making the league rethink their evaluation. Never count out an NFL warrior.Because as phenomenal as Boldin’s numbers were, that’s just the beginning of the story with him. It’s the intangibles that a player like Boldin brings to the team, and has the biggest effect. Note the play that sportscasters talked for days about where Clay Matthews superman’d through the air and hit Colin Kaepernik out of bounds. Joe Staley of course came over and stood up for his quarterback but look at the replay and see who else was over there. Anquan Boldin was right there in the mix to show that, yes this is a new team but that this is now his family. It’s that loyalty for teammates that separates Boldin. Also, in the fourth quarter they showed a shot of the 49ers sideline and you saw one player going up and down the bench giving pounds and encouraging words to his 49er teammaters. Again, it was Boldin showing his worth. These sort of actions are the kind of intangibles that can’t be equated in money or receiving numbers, and have an even greater effect on a team.The Baltimore Ravens long searched for a receiver to get them to the next level and help give the offense an identity. Previously their receivers had looked like the Patriots receivers against the Jets Thursday night. Anquan Boldin arrived and became that target and presence for Joe Flacco and the Ravens. He made plays, he was just as tough as the vaunted Ravens defenders and he was a leader. He has always brought strong intangibles to the table. First of all, this is a player who has always been unselfish, who’s always been a team player and a leader. He signed on to Florida State coming out of high school as an All-America quarterback. Once he arrived he was moved to wide receiver for the benefit of the team which he did without complaint and made look seemless. Then when all of their quarterbacks were injured in the bowl game guess who went back there to take snaps and keep his team in the game? Yes, Boldin. Don’t forget about his days with the Arizona Cardinals. Yes the great Kurt Warner was certainly the catalyst who spearheaded that spectacular year for the Cards, but let’s not forget that Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald were the heart and soul of this team along with Warner. They led the team with their playmaking skills and their toughness, and in just one game Boldin is already bringing that to San Francisco.
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