Harbaugh excited to meet tough-guy Boldin

Harbaugh excited to meet tough-guy Boldin
March 18, 2013, 5:00 pm
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He's one of the great competitors in the NFL, so we're thrilled to have him and can't wait to meet him.
—Jim Harbaugh on Anquan Boldin

PHOENIX -- Coach Jim Harbaugh has yet to speak with wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the 49ers' biggest offseason acquisition.

That day will come Wednesday, Harbaugh said, when he expects to sit down with Boldin, whom the 49ers acquired in a trade from the Baltimore Ravens for a sixth-round draft pick. Boldin will also take a physical.

Boldin was en route to Senegal when the trade was made. He took part in a mission with Oxfam America to improve access to livelihoods, increased income and food security in West Africa. The Super Bowl-winning Ravens, coached by John Harbaugh, dealt Boldin to the 49ers rather than pay his $6 million salary for the 2013 season.

"I've heard a lot of great things about him from my brother," Jim Harbaugh said. "Great worker, great guy in the locker room, solid guy, Christian guy. I've heard a lot of good things."

Defensive lineman Justin Smith, one of the most-respected players in the team's locker room, also gave Harbaugh a thumbs-up on the trade when he lauded Boldin's toughness.

"That's the first thing Justin Smith said," Harbaugh said. "We got him and Justin said, 'Great trade. That guy's a tough guy.' And our guys in the locker room respect him. So he's coming in with a real high level of respect from our players."

Boldin, 32, a three-time Pro Bowl performer in his 10 NFL seasons, caught 65 passes for 921 yards (14.2 average) with four touchdowns. He has 772 receptions for 10,165 yards (13.2 average) and 58 touchdowns in his career.

In the Ravens' 34-31 victory over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown.

"He's been consistently good," Harbaugh said. "You look at it, yards per catch, those kinds of things. He's been consistently good. Right at 13 (yards per reception) each year. He plays all 16 games year after year.

"And he plays really good in the big games. That shows up. He's one of the great competitors in the NFL, so we're thrilled to have him and can't wait to meet him."

Harbaugh also mentioned Boldin's ability to make tough catches even when he appears to be covered. Harbaugh said it might take quarterback Colin Kaepernick some time to develop chemistry with Boldin and figure out when he needs to give Boldin chances to make plays.

"I think he'll be a good influence on all of us," Harbaugh said.

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