SANTA CLARA – Anquan Boldin spoke with Bay Area reporters Wednesday afternoon in the 49ers’ locker room for the first time as a 49er. Here’s what he said.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out you got traded to the 49ers?
BOLDIN: Kind of shocked initially. I really didn’t expect to be traded, especially from the conversations I had with the Ravens before I left to Africa. So initially it was shocking, but once all of that wears off you get to examine the situation. For me, it’s great. I come to an organization that’s known for winning. An organization that’s all about their players. An organization that’s right on the cusp. Hopefully I can come here and bring something to the table.
Q: What do you bring to this team?
BOLDIN: I bring leadership. I bring a passion for the game. I only know how to play this game one way, and that’s all out. I think that’s exactly what the fans will get from me.
Q: How much research have you been able to do on the 49ers’ offense and who you’re going to be lining up with?
BOLDIN: I’ve been able to do a little bit. I think when you find out that you’re traded, you start to look into the situation and see what you guys have as a team. The one thing I can say is that this team lacks nothing. A very talented team. Obviously, it’s a team I played against in the Super Bowl, so it’s a team that right there. A team that’s going to be competitive for years to come.
Q: What about Colin Kaepernick?
BOLDIN: Had a chance to talk to him. Excited to get to work with him. Special kid. Smart kid. Very athletic. Hopefully I can help him to grow as a quarterback.
Q: The two games you played against the 49ers when Jim Harbaugh was their coach, what struck you as different about them as compared to when you played the 49ers when you were on the Cardinals?
BOLDIN: I just saw a team that pretty much mirrored us in Baltimore. Very physical team. A team that did the basics well. Wasn’t going to beat themselves. Just had talented players all around, offensively and defensively. One thing I saw is they were a team that was going to run the ball. They were going to try to impose their will on you, but also have playmakers on the outside. They have a stout defense that was a challenge for any offense.
Q: Have you compared the Harbaugh brothers yet, or have you not been around Jim enough?
BOLDIN: No, I haven’t met Jim yet. We’ll see how that goes.
Q: Did John warn you?
BOLDIN: No (laughs).
Q: When do you expect to meet him?
BOLDIN: Soon. Hopefully soon.
Q: When did you talk to Colin?
BOLDIN: When I got back from Africa I got in touch with him just to see how he was doing, see what he was up to, figure out when we can get together and start working on our chemistry.
Q: Figure anything out?
BOLDIN: Not yet. We’re still talking. My situation has been a little busy. We’ll figure something out.
Q: Is something you want to do, start catching passes from him and working on that chemistry?
BOLDIN: Yeah, I think that’s very important, for a quarterback and a receiver to be on the same page. That’s something that doesn’t just happen overnight. Whenever you see a quarterback and a receiver on the same page, that means they’ve spent time together. That’s something that I want to do.
Q: Did you do that with Joe Flacco when you got traded to Baltimore?
Q: You guys worked out before minicamps?
BOLDIN: We worked out during OTAs, and after OTAs when everybody was gone we kind of spent time together as well.
Q: How long do you think it was before you got comfortable with that relationship with Flacco, before you felt you really had a strong rapport with him?
BOLDIN: It differs from quarterback to receiver. When I think about me and Jeff Blake, we kind of hit it off right off the bat. Me and Josh McCown – same thing. And then there are some other quarterbacks where it takes longer to develop. There has to be a trust factor there. The thing that you with me and Flacco last year – like I said, it didn’t just happen overnight. It took probably a year for us to get on the same page and for him to have complete trust with me. Hopefully me and Colin can get together and kind of shorten that window.
Q: Both Joe and Colin have strong arms. Are you comfortable catching those high-speed bullets?
BOLDIN: I’ve played with some big-armed quarterbacks over the years. As far as catching hard balls, that won’t be a problem.
Q: Did the Ravens lead you to believe that you were going to come back?
BOLDIN: I don’t think they led me to believe that I would be back, I just thought at some point we would try to work things out one way or another. I talked to Coach Harbaugh that Friday before I left, and we were saying we’ll see what we can do. I don’t think they led me on. I don’t have anything bad to say about the Ravens at all. It’s been a great organization. They’ve been great to me and my family. The fans have been tremendous. I think the only regret that I have is not being able to say goodbye the way that I would have liked to.
Q: Do you have plans to come spend time out here in the offseason?
BOLDIN: That will be important for me and my family, because any time you move it’s a big transition. For me, my wife and my kids, we’re going to try to get out here and find a place to level. Definitely want to get acclimated to the area before the season starts.
Q: How familiar are you with Michael Crabtree, and do you see any similarities between his game and your style?
BOLDIN: I’ve just watched him over the years. I think he’s a very talented young receiver. I think the sky’s the limit for him. I don’t know him personally, but I’m excited to get to work with him.
Q: You have familiarity with this division, so that should make your transition easier, right?
BOLDIN: Yeah, I think so. Been in this division for seven years, so I pretty much know the lay of the land.
Q: You haven’t played any team more than you’ve played the 49ers. Have you developed relationships with guys on defense?
BOLDIN: Over the years playing against them, there’s definitely a mutual respect that you develop, just because guys on both sides are competitive. You see how hard guys work and how good they are as athletes. You tend to have that respect for them.
Q: Do you expect to wear No.81?
Q: Do you anticipate anything changing with you contract as far as a possible extension or restructuring?
BOLDIN: I haven’t heard of anything right now.
Q: You’ll play with the contract you have this year?
BOLDIN: At this point.
Q: There’s only one more year left on the contract. Would you like to have more on the end of it?
BOLDIN: Definitely. I think anytime you go somewhere you don’t want to be there for just a year. You definitely want to know that you’re wanted. You want to feel like that’s home. You don’t want to feel like it’s just a stop.