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Anquan Boldin Has 49ers Ready for Seattle Seahawks, Final Stretch

Posted Nov 24, 2014

In this Monday edition of Niners Daily, we spotlight a veteran player stepping up in the locker room and on the field.

In this Monday edition of Niners Daily, we spotlight a veteran player stepping up in the locker room and on the field.

Boldin Leading by Example

Sitting at 4-4 following a disheartening home loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 9, the typically-quiet Anquan Boldin spoke up and delivered a strong message to his team.

At the heart of his words was one simple principle: The San Francisco 49ers would now be playing one-game seasons each week.

Three weeks and three wins later, Boldin’s message has become a rallying cry for the surging 49ers. Jim Harbaugh frequently quotes his veteran receiver, and the players have all spoken highly of Boldin’s leadership.

“I thought it was needed,” Boldin said of his words to the team. “I think somebody needed to say exactly where we were and what we needed to do. I mean, everybody knew it, but I think it needed to be expressed verbally.

“We came into the season with one goal and that was to win a championship. I still feel like we’re in position to do that although we did put ourselves behind the eight-ball.”

What gives Boldin’s message so much credibility among his peers is the way he plays the game. The 34-year-old’s toughness was on display yet again during his 137-yard performance on Sunday against Washington.

On San Francisco’s game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, Boldin caught a 29-yard pass from Colin Kaepernick down the seam of the defense. Washington safety Ryan Clark met Boldin at the point of the catch with his helmet lowered, eliciting an illegal hit penalty.

Boldin somehow remained upright while Clark fell to the ground.

“He has been doing that his whole career, so we don’t expect any less from Anquan,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “Great players make great plays in crucial times and that is what he did going down in the middle, catching the ball and taking that hit. That is what leaders do, and that is what great players do.

“His toughness as a receiver ranks top two, if not the top… You better bite down on your mouthpiece because he is going to bring a thump. He is a strong player.”

Boldin even garnered praise from his opponent.

“He’s a guy I’ve always admired,” Clark said. “He’s made plays everywhere he’s been, and he’s made his team better. He came in, made plays, broke tackles, made big catches. That’s the type of guy he is.”

Boldin knew he would get hit on the play, but that didn’t stop him from going full-speed down the field.

“The game’s on the line; there’s no way I could not go for the ball at that point,” Boldin said. “You’re called upon in that moment, and your teammates expect you to come through. It’s part of football.”

Heading into Thursday’s Thanksgiving showdown against the rival Seattle Seahawks, Boldin said he expects his teammates to play with even more ferocity. After all, a new one-game season began as soon as Sunday’s game ended.

“I think guys really understand the sense of urgency that’s needed in this part of the season,” Boldin said. “We just feel like we are in the playoffs; that’s our mindset. We feel like we’ve got to win at any cost.”

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