Recently, Don Banks of SI.com posed 20 questions going into the 2010 NFL season. The second question he asked involved the Ravens Anquan Boldin.
Banks: Will Anquan Boldin be the No. 1 receiver that Baltimore has lacked since Raymond Berry retired?
Here’s his thoughts on that topic:
The tricky part of Boldin finally escaping Arizona and Larry Fitzgerald’s shadow is that while he definitely got a No. 1 receiver payday from Baltimore ($28 million over four years), he didn’t really go to an offense that will be designed to showcase him in a clear-cut No. 1 role. The Cardinals threw the ball more than 62 percent of the time last season, and Baltimore’s throw-run breakdown was around 52-48 percent. The Ravens are going to get Ray Rice his share of touches every game, and the third-year running back actually led the team in receptions last year with 78 for 702 yards.
When you factor in the Ravens re-signing veteran receiver Derrick Mason (73 catches for 1,028 yards in 2009), who has a well-established rapport with quarterback Joe Flacco, you could envision a scenario in which neither receiver dominates any particular game plan. So while Boldin might wind up Baltimore’s top receiver, monster numbers are probably not on the horizon for him. Not with a Ravens ground game that rushed for 2,200 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
In my opinion, I can’t say that Boldin will be a clear cut, Andre Johnson-type number one receiver. He has the skillset to be, but this offense also includes three Pro Bowl RB’s, Mason, Todd Heap and Dante Stallworth. It’ll be hard for him to put up number one type numbers.
However, I do think Boldin will be unlike any receiver Ravens’ fans have seen since the club came back to Baltimore. His toughness and physicality will challenge opposing DB’s enough to wear them down by fourth quarter. The Boldin/Mason combo will give the Ravens two receivers who are deep threats and fearless across the middle.
It should be an exciting year for the Ravens and their fans.
What do you expect from Anquan Boldin this season?