Sports Out West

49ers Offseason 2013: Anquan Boldin Stepping Up At OTAS

Anquan Boldin

When the San Francisco 49ers acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens for a sixth round pick, the consensus was the trade was an absolute steal. Boldin, who has one-year remaining on his contract, looked to be a terrific compliment to play opposite Michael Crabtree. It would give the 49ers two legitimate options on the outside and possibly the best receiving tandem they’ve had in years. In the NFL, however, things don’t always go as planned.

Crabtree will miss at least six months, if not more, with an Achilles injury which means Boldin will be thrust into the number one receiver role. Boldin is no stranger to being a top target in an offense. He has 772 receptions over ten seasons with the Ravens and Arizona Cardinals. He has eclipsed the 100 reception mark twice in his career.

Early reports have Boldin stepping up for the 49ers at the teams’ OTAs. He  has often been the first target of Colin Kaepernick as well as the other quarterbacks during the practices.

“I guess I’m looked at as being able to step in right now and make plays,” said Boldin. “And that’s what I want to bring. I want Kaep to be comfortable. I want the other quarterbacks to be comfortable enough to, even if it doesn’t look like I’m open, just give me a chance. I’ll make plays for you.”

The 49ers will need Boldin to not only play well, but also take on a leadership role. While Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams recover from injuries, the 49ers have very little experience at receiver behind him. A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton, and Ricardo Lockette, who are all competing for a starting job, have two career receptions between the three of them.

Other notes:

Left tackle Joe Staley had a minor procedure done on his knee during the offseason and is not taking part in OTAs. The 49ers expect him to be ready for training camp.

Running back Frank Gore is also sitting out the spring practices although coach Jim Harbaugh says it’s nothing serious.

“Just working through something,” said Harbaugh. “Nothing too serious.”

Kyle Williams and running back Kendall Hunter were both participating in individual drills and should be ready for the start of training camp. Both players are rehabbing from season ending injuries suffered in 2012.

 

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Al Sacco

Al Sacco is sports expert who knows football, baseball, basketball and hockey. He has spent his time as a sports journalist covering the San Francisco 49ers as a staff writer for 49erswebzone.com and 49ersgab.com. He is also a contributor to Yahoo! Voices.