ANQUAN BOLDIN, Wide receiver
In his seven seasons with the Cardinals before coming to Baltimore as a highly prized free agent, Boldin averaged 83.7 catches and set the record for fastest player to reach 400 career receptions (he did it in 67 games). But last season he caught just 64 passes, the fewest since he had 56 in 10 games in 2004. Those who expected instant chemistry between Boldin and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco were disappointed. "When I played in Arizona with Kurt [Warner], a lot of people thought it just happened overnight," the 6'1", 217-pound Boldin says. "That took time, long days after practice, talking, watching film. When you play in a system for a while and really learn it, that's when you're able to put a little of yourself in it. I think we're at that point now." Flacco agrees: "We're seeing eye to eye, and I feel comfortable with him this year, definitely more than I did last year at this time."
Boldin, 30, admits it's been challenging to go from a Cardinals team known for racking up points pinball-style to a Baltimore franchise whose hallmark is rugged defense. Now, more at ease in the offense, and with deep threat Lee Evans arriving to stretch the field, Boldin thinks that image is about to change. "When guys go against us," Boldin says, "I want teams to say that our offense is something you have to deal with."