Niners wide receiver Anquan Boldin has built a reputation as a fierce competitor on the field and an outspoken player off it.
There isn’t a better receiver in the NFL when battling with a defensive back for a pass or when it comes to blocking a linebacker.
Similarly, Boldin doesn’t back off when it’s time to express an opinion.
And last week, Boldin, basically told all the analysts, talking heads and worried 49ers fans to stop worrying. Boldin knows the team has lost a winning head coach and some of its best players this offseason, yet he’s convinced the 49ers will rebound in 2015 from a very disappointing 8-8 season.
In a radio interview recently with a Tampa, Fla., radio station, as reported by 49ers.com, Boldin called the 2014 season “a fluke.”
“This year I think it’ll be back to what we’re known for,” Boldin said.
Boldin said injuries throughout the 2014 season were the key reason for the 49ers’ drop off, not a lack of talent.
“I think we’re much better than what our record shows,” he said. “Not to make excuses, but we had a ton of injuries.”
Boldin hasn’t been afraid to take a contrarian’s point of view.
In recent weeks, he’s defended new head coach Jim Tomsula, insisting he’ll be a good one and that he has the support of the players. And, he’s told quarterback Colin Kaepernick – who spent several weeks this offseason refining his techniques and approach with former NFL QB Kurt Warner -- to stop worrying about what others say about him and stay true to the style of play that made him very successful during his first two seasons as a starter.
On Tomsula: “He is very energetic. … Guys who played for him busted their butts for him. I think he is going to do well.”
On Kaepernick: “I just think he has to block out everything else around him, stop listening to what people have to say about you, stop listening to what people want to see him do. Sometimes when you try to go off suggestions of other people, and try to please other people, you forget who you are and what got you there. If he goes out and (is) himself, he’ll be just fine.”
And, while it’s true the 49ers have lost some fine players, Boldin is excited that one key player has been added: his former Ravens teammate, wide receiver Torrey Smith. Boldin believes Smith – a deep threat with great speed – will add a new dimension to the 49ers offense.
“We weren’t a team that took shots down the field as much as we would have liked to last year,” Boldin told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “With a guy like Torrey, you’ve got to take advantage of his strengths, and that’s one of them.”