49ers receiver Anquan Boldin to face former teammates
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, traded to the San Francisco 49ers from the Baltimore Ravens two years ago, will be looking into the eyes of a good friend when he lines up to play football this weekend.
Boldin is particularly close to Ravens cornerbacks Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb, and shared a locker room with cornerback Shareece Wright through the first four weeks of this season. The 49ers released Wright on Saturday and the Ravens signed him Tuesday.
Boldin, who spent three years in Baltimore, said Smith and Webb know him as well as anyone, and that they shared a lot of information over the years. Sunday will mark the first time they will face off against each other as opponents. The last time the teams met, the Ravens beat the 49ers, 34-31, to win the 2013 Super Bowl and Boldin, along with 49ers receiver Torrey Smith, was on the winning side.
''That was a special moment for everyone involved,'' Boldin said. ''To be on the winning side is cool. What I remember is looking around and seeing all the flashes from the camera on the opening kickoff. You see it on TV but it's more impressive in person.''
This time, both teams are struggling, each at 1-4.
''It's just another game,'' Boldin said Wednesday. ''I don't feel any different.''
Boldin, in his 13th year in the NFL, understands he needs to approach the game the same way he approaches every game, though that won't stop him from saying hello, or thinking about the Ravens in general.
''It's going to be weird to see them,'' Boldin said. ''I know how they approach games. I loved my time there and they will always be a part of my life. But I'm excited about being here.''
Jimmy Smith, in particular, knows Boldin and how he thinks.
''We coached each other up,'' Boldin said. ''I know what he hates and he knows what I hate. We had open communication about that.''
Boldin said communication among the receivers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick was a big reason the 49ers offense got untracked, scoring a season-high 27 points last Sunday in a loss to the New York Giants. They had scored a combined 28 in their previous three games.
''We spent a lot of time together and it showed,'' Boldin said. ''Kap put us in some great situations with his checks. He responded well.''
Kaepernick said added meetings improved team chemistry and helped define what certain plays were designed to accomplish.
''We went into detail over things to make sure everybody was on the right page and what we were trying to take advantage of,'' Kaepernick said. ''The biggest improvement was just chemistry; being able to let balls go and trust our receivers to make the play. It was a confidence-building thing on all sides: the receivers, us and the offensive linemen.''
NOTES: LB Ahmad Brooks continues to deal with family matters and is away from the team. ... LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) was given the day off, OL Alex Boone (ankle, shoulder) and OL Joe Staley (leg) were limited and RB Reggie Bush (calf) took part in conditioning. ... C Brian Folkerts and WR Andrew Turzilli were signed to the practice squad on Tuesday.
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