Sure there are injury concerns, but the Baltimore Ravens may have made one of the most important offseason acquisitions of the year when they traded for wide receiver Anquan Boldin. When he’s out there and healthy, ‘Q’ is as dangerous and reliable as any playmaker in the game. As a Steelers fan, that concerns me greatly, as Baltimore has lacked a complimentary receiving option opposite Derrick Mason for several years now. Boldin looks to be healthy and ready to go for the season opener against the New York Jets. I’ll be keeping a close eye on how Baltimore’s offense has evolved now that they have the gutty, physical, and gifted playmaker at their disposal.
Boldin joined 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore to talk about the acclimation process with his new team, how he’s skipped taking any vacation all summer to work with Joe Flacco, how he thinks he and Derrick Mason will compliment each other nicely, how he hasn’t considered toning down his physical and aggressive style because that’s the only way he knows how to play, how he’s not surprised that Matt Leinart lost the starting duties to Derek Anderson in Arizona based on what he remembers about Leinart’s and Whisenhunt’s relationship, his thoughts on the Ravens younger wide receivers vying for a helmet and playing time, and what he’s been most impressed by working with and around Ray Lewis on a daily basis.
On what it’s been like acclimating himself to a new team, coaching staff and set of teammates:
“Well I think that the biggest thing was just trying to get adjusted to the new environment. Like you said, coming in to a new team, new coaches, you really don’t know what to expect. So for myself, I tried to get as comfortable as possible as early as possible. And when you do that, it allows you to be yourself on and off the field. So I spent this entire summer, I didn’t take a vacation, and kind of got with Joe as often as two three times a week just to throw around, try to get comfortable and up to speed with him. Because I felt like I was kind of behind. These guys have been in this system going on three years now, and I was just walking in the door. So I felt like I had a little catching up to do.”
On the early work he’s been able to do with veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason:
“Man, it’s been great working with Mason. He’s a great talent, and like you said, he’s been doing it for a number of years. And he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. So I look forward to lining up across from him and keeping double teams off him, and him doing the same for me.”
On if he’s considered toning down his aggressive and sometimes even reckless style of play out there in order to preserve his body as he gets older:
“No, for me, that’s the way that I play and I don’t know any other way. I think if I slow down or try to change my style I wouldn’t be Anquan. So I don’t feel like I need to change because I would only be cheating my teammates and myself as well.”
On the quarterback situation in Arizona – specifically how Matt Leinart hasn’t secured the starting job and if he’s surprised by that:
“Honestly no. That’s just because I’ve been there and witnessed the relationship between both Matt and Coach Whisenhunt. So I’m actually not surprised. I don’t really want to speak too much on that because it’s not my problem. If it doesn’t refer to anybody in black and purple, I really could care less.”
On if there’s something that he’s learned about Ray Lewis being around him every day:
“Just what he brings to the table every day. Stepping back and looking from afar from a different team, you know he’s a great player, but you don’t really see all that goes into it. He’s a guy that brings it every day on the football field, in the weight room, no matter what it is, he’s always that intense.”
On what he’s seen in the young Ravens wide receivers that are vying for a helmet:
“You know, I’m actually impressed with them. I really wasn’t up on who all Baltimore had at the receiver position before I got here. But after getting here, I really saw the talent that they have at the receiver position. Mark Clayton, when he’s healthy, he’s one of the better receivers that I’ve seen. I mean he’s a smooth guy, runs nice routes, catches the ball and makes play. Williams, he’s a guy that can really help this team with his speed stretching defenses and letting us work underneath. Marcus Smith, he’s a physical guy that brings something a little different to the table, especially in the running game. David Reed, I think he’s going to be a good receiver in this league once he gets his nose wet and gets his feet wet and figures out exactly what the coaches are expecting of him. So I think we have a pretty good group of young guys that are going out to play on Thursday.”