Anquan Boldin won the Bill Walsh Award, which is voted on by the San Francisco 49ers as their version of a team MVP (although Jim Harbaugh made it clear that the team has two MVP awards, the Walsh Award and the Len Eshmont Award, which went to NaVorro Bowman). Boldin said today that he was able to fit in so well so quickly with the 49ers because they’re a team that’s hungry to get back to a Super Bowl after losing in New Orleans last February, and as someone who lost a Super Bowl as a member of the Arizona Cardinals he understands the lingering pain and motivation felt by the team.
Boldin didn’t just win the Walsh Award because he put up his best statistical season in a few years. He’s an obvious leader, someone who, along with Vernon Davis, kept the passing offense afloat when the team was without Michael Crabtree.
He’s secure enough in himself and his abilities to be pretty honest. Back in October, when I asked a very weary-looking Boldin if he had faced as many double-teams earlier in his career as he had seen up through that point in the season he said, “At times, but not as much.”
Today Boldin took the podium, and even though he has played 11 games since we last talked about double-teams, he seemed more at ease and well-rested than he was after the Texans game. I asked Boldin whether the double-teams have gone away since Crabtree’s return.
“Definitely. Crab coming back has opened up a lot for all of us. Me, Vernon, the running game. You put a guy like that on the field, he’s another threat, another playmaker (who can) take it the distance on any down,” Boldin said.
“You have to pick your poison. Who do you double? Me, Crab, Vernon? Do you put eight or nine guys in the box to stop the run game? It’s kind of hard to do.”
It’s funny that Boldin used the “pick your poison” line, because that’s exactly what I said to Joey McMurry this morning in today’s 49ers/Packers Preview edition of BASGcast. The Packers have a lot of receivers that could cause difficulties for the 49ers’ injury-depleted secondary (Carlos Rogers didn’t practice today and Eric Wright was limited in practice for the second straight day), but the 49ers are going into this postseason with more weapons than ever. With Green Bay’s defense in the bottom quarter in the league as far as points and yards allowed, it’ll be interesting to see which “poison” the Packers pick on Sunday.