Bringing wide receiver Steve Smith to Baltimore was a way for the Ravens to add a hard-nosed veteran leader to their offense.
Many pundits have compared Smith to former Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin, who is now with the San Francisco 49ers. Boldin was a gritty player that brought an edge to the offense, and he sees Smith adding a similar quality to the Ravens.
"I think that's a big pick-up for them," Boldin said Saturday at
The Ravens missed Boldin last season, and Head Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged after the season that the Ravens weren’t able to replace his production. The Ravens lacked a sure-handed chain moving receiver like Boldin last year, especially after the injury to tight end
Smith can step into that role this season for Baltimore.
Boldin sees a similar mindset with him and Smith, but thinks there are different nuances to their games.
“We're two different players,” Boldin said. “I think he'll tell you that as well. We bring two completely differently things to the table. I think the thing that both of us do have is we want to win, bottom line, and we'll do whatever it takes to do that.”
Smith had the same sentiment toward Boldin after he signed with the Ravens earlier this month.
“I can tell you this: I’m not Anquan Boldin," Smith said. "I respect the heck out of ‘Q,’ and what ‘Q’ brings to the table is what ‘Q’ brings to the table. I’m Steve Smith, and what I bring to the table as a Baltimore Raven, I have to earn that, and my time on the field will display what I bring to the table.”
Boldin spent three seasons with the Ravens and was the team’s top wideout in each of those years. He signed a two-year extension with the 49ers this offseason, making it likely that the 33-year old receiver could finish his career with San Francisco.
While he’s no longer in Baltimore, Boldin is still close with several players on the Ravens. He said he still feels like a big brother to some of the players, and he flew into Baltimore to participate in Smith’s charity event.
“Those guys call me all the time,” Boldin said. “I talk to them all the time. They ask for advice. They support me and I support them. That’s a friendship that won’t stop.
“These are my friends off the field. We’re not teammates any more, but we still keep in contact. They support me, I support them in whatever they do. That won’t stop.”