Boldin Acquired To Face Steelers

Anquan Boldin said one reason he was traded for was to help be physical vs. Pittsburgh.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Categories: 2010 Season, Ryan Mink, Week 13 vs Steelers

When wide receiver Anquan Boldin spoke to General Manager Ozzie Newsome and his new Ravens coaches after being traded to Baltimore, they spoke of what he’ll face Sunday.

They spoke of how he’s the perfect fit to face the Steelers.

“That was understood as one of the reasons why I was brought here,” Boldin said when asked if the Pittsburgh games were a major reason why he was acquired.

“They told me they needed a physical receiver on the field. They felt like that was one of the things that held them back in the past.”

Boldin made seven receptions for 68 yards against the Steelers in Week 4, showing his willingness to stand toe-to-toe with Pittsburgh’s hard-hitting defense. He ran slants across the middle, roaming into the territory of physical safety Troy Polamalu.

This week, Cameron was asked if Boldin was acquired for games against the Steelers.

“Yeah, no doubt,” he said. “You know, you’ve got to win your division, and you better be able to play and beat Pittsburgh. We know the kind of game it is, we know the kind of game we want it to be, and we’ve got guys that kind of fit this kind of game.”

With T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s game-winning 18-yard catch in Week 4, it’s easy to forget that Boldin helped set it up. He caught two passes on the final drive, a 9-yard route, in which he lowered his shoulders to get extra yardage, and a 3-yard out-route that gave Baltimore a key first down.

On Houshmandzadeh’s touchdown, three Steelers players shadowed the No. 1 receiver. That increased attention has become more prevalent as the season has gone on.

Boldin started to notice it after Week 3, when he burned the Cleveland Browns with eight catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Opponents have rolled safeties his way, they’ve double-teamed him and even bracketed him (Tampa Bay).

That has helped open up the Ravens’ offense as a whole. Check-downs to running back Ray Rice have continued to be productive and last week veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason was open and caught eight passes for 87 yards.

But it has meant a dip in the stat sheet for Boldin, who has averaged just more than three receptions and 33 yards per contest since the Ravens’ Week 8 bye. He ranked fifth on the team in receiving yards during November.

Boldin, the fastest in NFL history to reach 400, 500 and 600 career receptions, couldn’t care less.

“My whole career has been about stats; the first to do this, the only to do this,” Boldin said. “By now, that doesn’t matter to me. I just want the championship.”

“It’s understanding the big picture.”

That big picture includes winning the AFC North, which means beating the Pittsburgh Steelers – what Boldin was brought in to help do.

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