Anquan Boldin said this week the Ravens' 49-27 blowout loss to the Broncos Thursday merely reinforces a theme in the 49ers locker room that everyone will be gunning for last season's Super Bowl participants this year.
"That message always has been preached around here," the veteran receiver said. "Nobody's going to lay down for you because you were in the Super Bowl last year. It's just the opposite. Everybody wants to beat you. Every week we come out and play, we have to be on our best because everybody's looking to knock us off."
What'd you think of your former team?
"Ha! What'd you think of them?" said a chuckling Boldin, whose contract was too hefty for Baltimore, which traded him to San Francisco in March. In the next breath he returned to his usual, serious self. "Yeah, it's the first game of the season," he said. "I'm sure they'll get better."
Does Colin Kaepernick seem like a team captain?
AB: "Yeah. You see the guy here every day working, even the days you don't have to be here he's working. He's one of the first guys here, one of the last guys to leave. So he definitely exemplifies it."
Do you like what you see out of rookie Quinton Patton?
AB: "Definitely. He's a quick learner, a guy that's eager to get out and make a name for himself. I think you saw that when he got in in the preseason, he made plays. So it's something that we're excited about, definitely looking forward to his role in the offense because he definitely can do things."
The receiving corps has been called, 'Anquan Boldin and four other guys.' What do you think about the young players?
AB: "That they're talented. You'll see for yourself come Sunday and each game that we play. Those guys are definitely going to make plays. They're ready to make their mark on this league. I'm not worried about them at all."
On the relationship between the passing and running attacks?
AB: "We're going to be balanced. We're definitely going to run the ball. With the type of offensive line we have, we have to run the ball. But we also have some guys outside that can make plays. We have a couple of good running backs in the backfield who have to touch the ball. These are big-play guys. We've got some guys outside. It's a lot of guys and one ball. So we'll see how it goes."
- Matt Barrows