One of the biggest question marks to be sorted out in August is who will emerge from a deep field of contenders as the San Francisco 49ers No. 3 wide receiver.
Speaking to the media on Friday as veterans reported for training camp, Anquan Boldin didn't make any predictions, but he did sound more than a little curious to watch the competition unfold.
"It'll be a good one. You've got a lot of guys who have great talent fighting for a couple different spots," Boldin said. "It'll be a battle. Quinton Patton and Bruce (Ellington), I saw them last year so I'm looking forward to seeing them grow. And for the younger guys, I want to see them come in and make a name for themselves."
Along with Patton and Ellington, Jerome Simpson, Dres Anderson and DeAndrew White lead the field of wideouts hoping to win a job behind Boldin and prized free-agent acquisition Torrey Smith.
Boldin, a 13-year veteran who is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, has helped the incoming receivers, especially Smith, adjust to catching passes from Colin Kaepernick. Timing, with any quarterback and wideout combination, is key.
Click through as the San Francisco 49ers veteran wide receiver hauls in a deep pass from Colin Kaepernick inside Levi's Stadium.
"We talk a lot," Boldin said. "(Smith) has questions, and I try to answer them as best as I can. But they seem to be on the same page. Those guys are two veterans. They've been around and understand the game of football. Torrey has been around Joe (Flacco), so he understands the quarterback position."
When discussing his expectations for the team as a whole in 2015, Boldin rejected the notion that the 49ers are any less equipped to make a postseason run.
"We still have a lot of talent in this locker room. That hasn't changed," Boldin said. "I don't see why this year would be any different than years' past."
Boldin's rationale for that confident outlook stems from the up-and-coming players who gained experience in 2014 as the team was ravaged by injuries.
"Just seeing how comfortable they were, guys were out there making plays, guys were out there hungry. And that's what you want to see from young players," Boldin said. "A lot of guys come in and don't learn right away. It takes them time, but those guys jumped in right away. I don't think people really understand how beneficial that will be for us this year."
As for how the atmosphere around the team is different this year under Jim Tomsula, Boldin reiterated what many have said since the coach's hiring in January.
"Everybody around here is happy with the way things are going. Everybody is satisfied with coach Tomsula and the way he does things," Boldin said. "It's a breath of fresh air. We're excited to get going and prove a lot of people wrong. It bodes well for us that guys are looking forward to coming to work."