Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin has a history of being a
tough physical player in the NFL. Boldin, who is entering his ninth year in the
league, is a leader both on the field and off. “Q,” as both current and former
teammates as well as fans affectionately know him, joined the Ravens in March of
By some standards Boldin had a down year in 2011; however,
the former Seminole still amassed 887 receiving yards in 14 games and averaged
a career-best 15.6 yards per catch. His three touchdown receptions were the
second lowest total for a season in his career since 2004 when he was with the
Arizona Cardinals. “Q” still managed to register his eighth 800-yard season of
his career – not bad for missing the final two regular season games with a knee
As the Ravens head into the 2012 season this could be a
breakout year for the hard-nosed receiver. With speedster Torrey Smith and
newly acquired Jacoby Jones lining up on the outside the Baltimore Ravens will
finally be able to use Anquan in
the slot position. “You have a guy with that kind of speed, him and Torrey
[Smith] outside, it opens up a lot of things you can do, me working inside."
Putting Boldin in the slot could make the Ravens offense
very dangerous and among the best in the NFL. The injuries to tight ends Ed
Dickson and Dennis Pitta did not help; however, both are expected back in time
for the regular season (if not sooner). Boldin played 27%
of his snaps in the slot last year, hauling in 23 of his 39 targets. That 59% catch rate was significantly
higher than his 51% mark playing outside the hashes.
Boldin will also benefit from the Ravens using a new
no-huddle offense which they’ve shown throughout the preseason. The big receiver
is one of the league’s toughest to bring down and will prove valuable in 2012
in yards after catch.
Anquan remained active off the field this offseason as well.
In March Boldin and former teammate Larry Fitzgerald embarked on a mission to
drought stricken Ethiopia. “I wasn’t put on this earth just to play football,”
Boldin stated. While there the two helped locals move rocks in a ravine and perform
other daily chores as part of the Oxfam America agency’s effort to create small
plots of farmable land.