SANTA CLARA — Anquan Boldin spoke in the 49ers’ media tent Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript courtesy of the 49ers’ P.R. department.
The Seahawks defensive backs play a very physical style. Everybody knows that. Do you and your teammates have a sense at this point what will be called and not called?
“You never know what would be called and what wouldn’t. For us we play football and let the refs do what they do.”
Did you feel in your previous games against the Seahawks, was there anymore or less called against them than other games you played this year?
“If you get called for it, it’s holding. If not, it’s not holding. So, you just play football.”
What have the six weeks been like with you and WR Michael Crabtree on the field together and this passing game has found a nice rhythm?
“Yeah, that was the vision going in, him on one side, me on the other [TE] Vernon [Davis] working the middle of the field. It’s tough on defenses when you have two guys outside capable of having big games, and then you have Vernon inside matched up with linebackers. So, it gives defenses fits.”
You play physically at wide receiver. Does that go back to playing defense in high school or just a response to the way defensive backs are playing against you or why do you sort of enjoy playing as physical as you do?
“That’s just my personality. It’s always been the way that I played the game. I was always told if you don’t play the game all out, then you’re cheating yourself.”
What’s the biggest difference – I know you didn’t match up against QB Colin Kaepernick last year, but as your opponent in the Super Bowl to see a rookie quarterback, now a teammate. Is there any difference you see in him that maybe you didn’t see or caught your eye from this postseason?
“He’s comfortable. It’s not a new situation for him. Last year was his first time in the playoffs. This year, he has an understanding of what it’s like, because anytime a guy is in the playoffs for the first time, it can be tough. Everything is ramped up even more in the playoffs. So, the speed is a lot different, guys play a lot harder because everybody is trying to win a championship. So, you see he’s a lot more comfortable now, he’s a lot more relaxed and seems like the game has slowed down a lot to him.”
What makes Colin special? We know about the throwing and the running, but it seems there is an intangible quality that makes him stand out. Have you noticed it and can put it into words?
“He is confident in his abilities. He doesn’t waiver. Even when you guys say bad things about him, he’s still confident about getting his job done. He comes out here, he works his butt off every day, one of the first guys here, last to leave.”
What’s his demeanor in the huddle before a big play?
“Calm. He doesn’t change, if it’s a bad play, if it’s a big play, he doesn’t change. He’s always next play, let’s make it happen.”
You talk about how it’s different in the playoffs. You’ve had a lot of your big games in the postseason. How long did it take you to get used to that and why do you think you’ve been able to thrive as the stage gets bigger?
“Just realizing the situation. I think for some guys they don’t pay attention to the small things, and that’s one of the things that can kill you in the playoffs. You really have to go back to basics and play fundamentally sound football and take care of the small things. You’ve got to protect the ball, definitely, because one possession can cost you the game.”
What’s Jim Harbaugh’s best quality as a head coach? What makes him so good?
“The fact that he played the game.”
Their secondary, they love to talk, they love to dance, especially up there. Can you feed off that?
“We don’t care.”
What are the keys to playing a physical secondary like their’s as a wide receiver?
“What are the keys?”
“Just playing football. You just don’t get caught up into that stuff. You play the way that you normally play and you let them be themselves.”
What does it mean that he played the game, does it mean you respect him, that he relates? What does it mean?
“He understands football.”
Do you initiate trash talk or do you just respond to it?
Do you initiate the talk or do you just respond to it?
“I just respond to it. If a guy doesn’t say anything to me, then I won’t say nothing to him.”
Does it do anything for you? Do you get more hyped when guys are talking to you?
“Yeah, if guy’s really want to talk, then show me.”
Did you see a difference in how the defense played you guys Week 2 versus when Crabtree was back? Was there much single-high safety that they like to play?
“Yeah, you see a difference. I think every team plays you differently as opposed to not having Crab out there. He’s definitely a weapon that you have to account for. So, we get different looks now.”
Does Harbaugh understand the game better than who didn’t play the game? Because that was what you said, that he understood the game?
“I didn’t say nothing about other coaches, I said he understood the game.”
Can you talk a little bit about the fact that you were with another team last year in the same situation, going to the Super Bowl, playing this team. You were talking about not the small things. Do you ever think about what happened last year?
“Not really. For me, I’m in a situation where I’m able to possibly compete for a championship again. As a player, that’s something that you cherish, that’s something that you play for. So, I’ve been blessed to be in this position. I said it when I came over here initially, I don’t think I could have fell in a better situation. I came into a locker room with a bunch of hungry guys, guys that wanted to get back to the championship game and win it because of the bitter taste that was left in their mouth last year.”
How much animosity is there between the two teams? Is the dislike real?
“I think so, but it’ll always be that way when you have two good teams in the same division. You play each other a couple times a year and if you’re good enough, possibly three times a year. It was the same way when I was in Baltimore playing against Pittsburgh. You respect each other as foes, but there is really a dislike.”
With the talk and the coaches, there is nothing additional in this rivalry?
“Say that again.”
The defensive backs for Seattle talking and there’s a lot of talk about Harbaugh and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s relationship, is it any different than any other divisional rivalry?
“No, it’s the same. It’s always the same.”
You said you don’t like to respond when the defensive backs talk. Do you enjoy though, it seems like you feed off of that byplay?
“It’s just a point, you want to show a guy that he can’t stop you and if you want to talk and do all of that, feel free.”
Is there a certain level of experience being able to deal with that because it looked like Carolina got a little too emotional last week?
“At the end of the day, you have to play football. You can do all the talk and rah rah you want to, At the end of the day, you have to play football. They came in the game with trying to be chippy, hitting guys late, doing that stuff. When all that emotion wears off, you’re still left with playing football and that’s when the real guys show up.”
With all the postseason experience you’ve had, have you gotten increasingly comfortable with postseason games? Is it different now than it was early in your career?
“It’s no different. You still play for the same — the goals are still the same. Everything is still the same. You’re playing to get to a championship eventually.”
Have you had any thoughts and do you have any sense if you’ll be back here next year or is that something for the offseason?
“That’s something we will deal with in the offseason. Right now, I’m focused in on beating Seattle.”
Is the communication for this offense, do you try to do same things you did earlier during the regular season when you lost up there and just do it better or or do you guys try to do something different?
“No, it’s completely different now. They’re a different team, we’re a different team. Even the second time we played them, our game plan was completely different.”
I’m talking about just communication in that loud stadium up there with the silent count or whatever Jim was talking about. Do you stick to the basics or do you try something new?
“No, you stick to the basics.”