A new playmaker at receiver for San Francisco, Anquan Boldin already has provided his share of nightmare matchups for Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks in years past.
So Boldin’s 13 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown in San Francisco’s season-opening win over Green Bay did not serve as an eye-opening performance for folks in Seattle.
They’ve seen that movie before.
Boldin spent his first seven seasons playing for NFC West rival Arizona, pairing with Larry Fitzgerald to create one of the most feared receiver tandems in the league.
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In 11 games against the Seahawks, Boldin has totaled 74 receptions for 938 yards and two touchdowns.
Arizona traded Boldin, 32, to Baltimore in 2010 for two midround picks. He played three seasons for the Ravens, helping that team take home a Super Bowl title last season.
But because of salary cap restraints, the Ravens traded Boldin to San Francisco for a sixth-round pick. With Michael Crabtree out for most of this season after suffering an Achilles tendon tear during offseason workouts, Boldin has quickly emerged as San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s go-to receiver.
“He’s a very strong, courageous player who seems to catch every ball thrown his way,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said about Boldin.
Big, play-making receivers like Boldin were part of the reason Seattle coach Pete Carroll wanted to get bigger cornerbacks when he took the Seattle job in early 2010.
At 6-1, 220 pounds and graced with a linebacker’s mentality,
Boldin is bigger and feistier than most receivers.
“There’s nobody like Boldin,” Carroll said. “He’s a fantastic football player. So as they are growing with him, they are finding out that there’s all kinds of ways that they can use him, in the future.
“He’s been a little bit in the backfield, he’s been a little bit everywhere. So, they are going to continue to work with him and continue to expand because there is nothing that he can’t do. He’s a very well-equipped football player. But I think in general, the balls that Crabtree was getting last year, I think (Boldin is) getting right now.”
Even though Boldin had a field day against Green Bay, and Kaepernick threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns, Seattle safety Earl Thomas said his team has nothing special planned for Sunday.
“We just need to be ourselves.” Thomas said. “People kind of get caught up, ‘OK, he did that to this (Green Bay’s) secondary, and now he’s coming to play us.’ No, we’re a different secondary than what they are. I think we’ve got physical corners that are going to be physical right back with him, so I’m just excited for the challenge.”
The Seahawks can take solace in the fact that basically the same defensive backfield faced Boldin two years ago in Seattle’s 22-17 win over Baltimore at CenturyLink Field, holding him to two receptions for 22 yards.
“You can go back and study a little film on him, see his tendencies in how he runs routes, and things he likes to do at the top of his routes,” Seattle safety Kam Chancellor said. “But the thing about Anquan, if he’s covered by two or three people, they’ll still throw the ball to him. He’s a competitor. He’ll go up and try to make that grab.”
Chancellor knows about Boldin’s competitive nature all too well. During that game against Baltimore two years ago, Chancellor slammed into Boldin on a seam route across the middle, knocking the ball loose. However, it was Chancellor, not Boldin, who remained on the field still woozy after the play.
“Yeah, it was a pretty big hit – I kind of knocked myself out,” Chancellor said, smiling. “The thing I learned from that is not to lead with my head, so I think it will be better this year turning my head and hitting with my shoulders. I’m trying to get some more hits like that – not like that one – but more big hits.”
UNDERCOVER COPS TO WEAR 49ERS GEAR
The Seahawks announced that the team has hired undercover police officers to wear opposing team jerseys to detect fans exhibiting unruly and inconsiderate behavior.
“We have great fans,” said Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin. “Our goal is to ensure a safe environment for all in attendance, including visiting team fans.”
Fans who have been asked to leave the stadium for violations of the “Seahawks Fan Code of Conduct” will be required to complete a four-hour online educational course focused on fan behavior before they are allowed to return. Fans will be responsible for the $75 fee for the course.
The team will inform the fan when the stadium ban is lifted. If a fan returns to CenturyLink Field without receiving authorization a criminal complaint will be issued against the fan as a “defiant trespasser” with Seattle Police.
Seahawks season-ticket holders are responsible for the behavior of persons using their seats. If those persons are ejected, the Seahawks may take appropriate action against the season-ticket holder, up to and including season ticket revocation.
The Seahawks had four players watch Wednesday’s practice from the sideline because of injuries: defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (ankle), cornerback Brandon Browner (hamstring), defensive tackle Jordan Hill (biceps) and safety Jeron Johnson (hamstring). Limited participants at practice were: defensive ends Chris Clemons (knee) and Cliff Avril (hamstring), offensive lineman Michael Bowie (shoulder) and receiver Sidney Rice (knee). Tight end Luke Willson (oblique) was a full participant in practice. The Seahawks signed tight end Kellen Davis on Wednesday. A fifth-round selection by Chicago in the 2008 draft, Davis spent five seasons with the Bears, playing 80 games with 35 starts. Davis had 47 receptions for 529 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was released by Chicago in March. Davis signed with Cleveland on March 22 but was released on Sept. 1. In order to put Davis on the roster, the Seahawks released linebacker Allen Bradford. Davis will wear No. 87. The Seahawks also put defensive end Ty Powell and offensive lineman Ryan Seymour on the practice squad, and let go offensive lineman Jared Smith and defensive tackle Michael Brooks.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 firstname.lastname@example.org/seahawks