San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquin Boldon told Yahoo Sports on Sept. 4 he believes his team is "very strong in all areas."
"The team only has a few days left to prepare for the opener against the Dallas Cowboys, and yet Boldin believes the naysayers who watched the 49ers' preseason performance, especially offensively, will come to realize that things are just fine in San Fran.
"'It's important for us to put everything together as a team,' Boldin wrote. 'We're very strong in all areas, and there's also an opportunity for guys to step up. For us, our biggest indicator is what we do in practice. We feel good about what where we are and looking forward to the regular-season start.'
"Practice sessions are now closed to the media, so we'll have to take Boldin's word that things are starting to run around for the 49ers' offense. But what about the locker room? I wanted to know how things were amid reports that Jim Harbaughs' team was in chaos, and more specifically I wanted to know why he and the other 49ers appeared to be supportive of their coach still.
"'His attitude. The way he understands and approaches football,' Boldin said. 'We have a very similar way we look at things, and Harbaugh is a big reason I came back to the 49ers organization.'
"When I asked about beating the (Seattle) Seahawks and what it would take to surpass them this season, Boldin wasn't biting. His answer -- 'The key thing is putting it all together on the field the way we do in practice.' -- sounded remarkably familiar to the one he gave to my first question.
"But Boldin was a little more revealing when I asked about how long he might play and whether he thinks about statistical milestones -- such as being 143 catches away from 1,000 in his career.
"'I take it a year at a time and my only goal is to help San Francisco win a championship,' he said. 'The milestones are a result of hard work in achieving that goal, and I'm proud to have the milestones throughout my career, and also milestones off the field.
"Boldin is promoting his gloves -- yes, you might have noticed his patented pink ones in past Octobers -- which are made by Cutters. Funny story: Boldin actually had a Reebok deal when he first tired Cutters and because he loved his new gloves so much, Reebok actually dropped him. But Boldin never looked back. And he didn't hesitate to help start the pink trend several years back, one that never NFLers (such as teammate Frank Gore, the [Kansas City] Chiefs' Jamaal Charles and the [Washington] Redskins' Pierre Garcon) also would follow suit with.
"'I recently learned that I was actually among the first to wear pink gloves for breast cancer awareness, when I provided pink gloves to my high school football team so that they could wear what I was wearing,' Boldin said. 'Didn't realize that movement would help stir an even larger campaign throughout the NFL.'"
"It's been 515 days since the Baltimore Ravens sent wide recevier Anquin Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers for a reported sixth-round draft pick.
"But Boldin relived the trade upon his return to his former team's training facility on Saturday.
"'No clue,' he told reporters when asked whether he saw the March 2013 move coming. 'It was shocking.'
"Place had as much to do with that as time. Boldin revealed that he was deplaning in Senegal to start an Oxfam relief mission, his wife's phone was flooded with text messages offering congratulations.
"'Congratulations for what?' Boldin remembered thinking before being informed by his publicist.
"After saying he had wanted to 'retire a Raven' back then, the now 33-year-old wideout is entrenched with the 49ers. He led the team in receiving (1,179 yards) last season and signed a two-year contract extension in March.
"Boldin has looked at this week, which included Thursday's preseason at M&T Bank Stadium and also comprises three joint, in-full-pads practices starting Saturday.
"Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco knows what to expect fro hs former go-to receiver this weekend. He told reporters reporters Boldin's competitive fire would show during 1-on-1 drills with Ravens cornerbacks.
"Flacco's head coach also said he was looking forward to having an up-close look at number 81, whom he never wanted to see leave.
"'It was very painful. I still blame Ozzie (Newsome),' John Harbaugh joked with reporters before Saturday's practice, referencing the team's general manager. 'I'm still sore from that deal. But it was something we had to do together.
"'We tried like crazy to keep Anquan. We fought like crazy, but we're fighting against a number. And those numbers are things that sometimes aren't as pliable as you'd like them to be...And that was our issue on that one. We certainly didnt' want to trade Anquin Boldin. He was one, if not, our best player.'"
Boldin is entering his 12th NFL season. He has caught for 11,344 yards and 65 touchdowns on 857 receptions in 156 career regluar-season games through Sept. 4, per ESPN stats.