PERCEPTION IS REALITY: “Q” Still a Hot Topic as 49ers Move On


Reality: The Ravens traded Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers a year ago, an unpopular move in Baltimore. 

Perception: GET OVER IT! Samuel Njoku, who covers the Ravens for the Examiner and CBS Baltimore tweeted a number of thoughts Sunday that speak the truth:

“You guys know Anquan Boldin wouldn’t have had this kind of success in Baltimore, right? And you do realize that Ravens would still be at home with Boldin on the roster, right?”

“There’s a good chance that if you had Boldin, you wouldn’t have Marlon Brown. You know, the younger… cheaper version.”

“With Boldin, Ravens wouldn’t have got Dumervil. They’d have brought more bodies to camp to find depth at LB. Maybe not enough space for WR.”

“And what about the defense? Dumervil would not be here. And even if playoff bound, the O-line isn’t good enough to win.”

Even the 49ers got into the act as right guard Alex Boone was asked after their victory if Boldin was worth a sixth-round pick. He said, “I think he’s worth a first-round pick, and I think the Ravens are really kicking themselves right now.”

When can we finally move on from this? Boldin is not a Raven. Yes, he had a very good season for the 49ers, but that doesn’t mean he would have had that same season with the Ravens. The Ravens did have problems on offense, but it dealt with the running game and with the offensive line… not the receivers. Plus, if you don’t trade away Boldin, the Ravens can’t sign Daryl Smith and Elvis Dumervil, both of whom were big contributors on defense.

When the trade happened last year, I didn’t like it. But you have to move on. The NFL’s salary cap forces teams to do things they may not necessarily want to do, but they have to do. That was the case with the Ravens last season, and it will happen again this off-season. Whether it’s Suggs or Jones or Ngata, the Ravens will make moves that will not make the fan base happy… but they will be moves they have to make to stay under the cap and stay competitive. So let’s move on from last year.

Reality: Jim Harbaugh is the first coach in NFL history to take his team to a Conference Championship Game in each of his first 3 seasons.

Perception: Jim basically told his brother John, “I see you and up the ante.” John led his team to a playoff win in each of his first 5 seasons as Head Coach. Jim hasn’t coached 5 years yet, but 3 NFC Championships and potential 2 Super Bowl games is a great start for a coach that seems to rub a lot of non-49ers fan the wrong way with his “childish” tantrums on the sidelines.

Reality: The Patriots became the 3rd team in NFL history to score at least 43 points in a playoff game without a touchdown pass.

Perception: As remarkable as this season has been for the Patriots, Saturday’s victory might be the most amazing. Not because they won, but they way they did it. The Patriots have lost so much this season… Vince Wilfork, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Danny Woodhead, Jerod Mayo… just to name a few. With all those losses and no real quality-name wide receivers, it appeared that the Patriots may be in trouble this season. But when you have Tom Brady as your quarterback, we have seen how it doesn’t matter what your supporting cast is. He is one of the all-time best for a reason. Usually the Patriots put their offense on Brady’s shoulders and make him pass it all over the place, never even putting a running back in the backfield. Teams just knew they were going to pass it. But with the emergence of Shane Vereen and the acquisition of LeGarrette Blount, the Patriots have a running attack that actually is productive.

This is something that I never thought I’d write… Tom Brady had just 25 pass attempts Saturday, while the Patriots had 46 rushing attempts. That stat still boggles my mind. The New England Patriots with Tom Brady behind center nearly handed the ball off twice as many times as he passed it.

This says something about Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick that may be different than John Harbaugh and whoever the offensive coordinator may be (Cam Cameron, Jim Caldwell, or whoever). The Patriots look at their personnel and make their game plan based off their talents. The Ravens seem to try to make their personnel fit their game plan. That is not the right philosophy… the Patriots have it correct and that’s why they are in their 7th AFC Championship in 13 years.

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About Joe Polek

Joe Polek
Joe Polek was born in Baltimore, MD, and was raised in Bel Air, MD. In 2001, he moved to Portland, Maine for a job in radio. In 2012, he moved to Columbia, SC for another gig in radio, where he currently resides with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters....more

21 Raves on “PERCEPTION IS REALITY: “Q” Still a Hot Topic as 49ers Move On

  1. Neil B on said:

    The last paragraph of your piece is what I have been believing from the start. The really great coaches plan based on their personnel. The average coaches try to make their team fit their scheme or philosophy.

  2. Pete on said:

    Last year Boldin “rescued” any number of desperation passes by Flacco, making key conversions, and kept the Ravens alive in their Superbowl run. Not clear to me that the Ravens with Boldin don’t make the playoffs this year. Salary cap relief could have started with a less generous contract offered to Flacco.

      • Pete on said:

        If your comment refers to the point about salary cap, then I stand corrected: see my reply just below to Derek Arnold. If your comment refers to my point about Boldin potentially making a difference, then we just disagree: see my reply to Lionel below.

    • Derek ArnoldDerek Arnold on said:

      If you’re still blaming Flacco’s contract for any personnel losses following last season – nearly a year later – I have to assume you’re just willfully ignorant.

      • Pete on said:

        Thanks. I stand corrected. I just had not realized from the press coverage at the time, almost a year ago now, that the Flacco contact was so unevenly distributed with such a relatively low first year.

    • JayJay on said:

      A less generous contract was offered to Flacco and he didn’t accept it. At that point the Ravens had 2 choices–franchise him and allow him to eat up $14m or $20m (and have to make even more roster cuts) while they try to negotiate that down (and maybe risk him being signed elsewhere) or pay him $120m total with a 2013 cap number of $6.8m. The clock was ticking. I don’t like the contract he signed but I can’t say they made the wrong choice either. That’s business and Flacco had all of the leverage.

  3. Fred on said:

    “Q” was one of my favorite Ravens and I was sorry to see him leave. I’m happy he has had success this year in SF. But that doesn’t mean the Ravens made a bad decision in letting him go. A successful organization has to look to the future.

  4. steve on said:

    if we had superman running routes this year it would not have helped this offence. qb’s cannot be effective in this league w/ no running game and people in your face every passing play. we cannot control the clock, so the defense is on the field too much . by the fourth quarter they were burnt out. imo the ol is the reason we are not in the play offs this year. o line coach rehired for 14, mind numbing….

  5. catgirl54 on said:

    From my limited time observing, it seems like teams pay their franchise quarterback the big bucks and then there is nothing left in the pot to put around them. We had to cut so many of our playmakers to make room for Joe. Not that we had any choice. Anquan was but one casualty. I wish I knew the formula Belichick has up there to make every team a winner, even when it’s running on a skeleton crew. Who ever had heard of Julian Edelman before this season, and Danny Amendola was considered risky because of being injury-prone. Their running game has been a game of musical chairs, but always seems to work. Could it be the coaching that is lacking in Baltimore?

  6. Lionel on said:

    Pretty stupid arguments being made about the Boldin trade in the above article.

    Zero evidence the Ravens miss the playoffs “with Boldin on the roster” and plenty of evidence to the contrary. We missed the playoffs by one game, and we lost 4 games by a FG. In short, we were extremely close to making the playoffs. as close as a team can get basically. So the argument becomes one of whether Boldin is an upgrade to our #2 WR, and the answer is obviously, totally obviously, “yes.” He is a chain-mover, and we struggled moving the chains. He is a run-blocking WR, and we struggled with the run. He is a fiery team-leader, and we were flat as heck on offense, with no fire. He plays bigger in big games, and we fell flat on our face in the biggest games (last two win-and-in games).

    Zero truth to the claim we couldn’t have had Dumervil or Smith if we kept Boldin. Zero. Cutting Jameel or Leach and/or passing on Huff or Spears, and/or carrying less extra cap space for emergencies, and/or borrowing/restructuring a couple million bucks, all were viable options.

    Zero evidence Marlon doesn’t make the team if we keep Boldin. He beat out Doss and Deonte in camp, so how is it Boldin bumps him? Oh yeah, and we signed Brandon Stokley, in case you forgot. Boldin on the team means no Stokley or no Doss….not no Marlon.

    Terrible arguments, all of them. The question is why people contort themselves to dismiss very legitimate discussions as to whether trading Boldin was a mistake. Why?

  7. Jrock on said:

    You should quit your job. Daryl smith was a cheap sign. We also signed huff and spears with the money we saved. Umm where are they now. Oline is bad but flacco is bad a Pre snap reads, holds on to the ball for a long time and does not have a quick release. I know you flacco fans will say whatever but he still needs to improve. Blame your head coach for the Oline failure. Why change the philosophy from last. It won us a Super Bowl!! The fact is the Ravens never used Boldin right. He never eclipsed the 1000 yrd mark with us. All of a sudden he is the MVP for the 49ers. Whatever this writer wants to say but Q played like a raven and I have no doubt he would have been a contributor on our offense. In Arizona he broke records. 1yr with the 49rs and he is back to being a beast. I blame coaching for not getting the full potential out of Boldin. They never used him right.

  8. Jrock on said:

    There is a list of Players we let go prematurely.
    Dereck mason- Had gas left in the tank. Caught everything flacco three his way. With him and Q and Tsmith in 2010
    Matt stover- we went on to loose games Bc of hauska kicking that year. Stover went in to kick for the colts in the Super Bowl.
    McClain (fb/Rb)-
    Bobby rainy- we could have used him this yr.
    I wish we still had Ed reed. Never know what he would have looked like lining up for us.

  9. Mitch on said:

    I agree with Lionel. The Ravens could have kept Q. All the useless money shuffling that went on and then releasing (Huff) or not playing (Leach) the players they paid money to illustrates the personnel blunder(s) the Ravens made this year. Why did Boldin never eclipse 1,000 yards with the Ravens? Because Flacco never threw to him unless it was an emergency situation (third down) or they needed a sure-handed WR to catch the ball when behind (anyone remember the great comeback against the Cardinals a few years ago???). Pitta has always been Flacco’s go-to guy, just like Jason Witten is for Tony Romo. It is NOT Q’s fault that he didn’t have a 1,000 yard season with the Ravens. The Ravens didn’t move forward by trading Q, rather, Harbaugh and Newsome were just moving on. I hope the Niners win it all and my main man, Q, earns a second ring!!!

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