The 49ers coach did so once more in his first of three consecutive podium visits before Sunday’s NFC Championship game in Seattle.
“Anquan Boldin is a valuable, valuable player and every player should aspire and practice and play the game of football like Anquan Boldin,” Harbaugh said when asked how long it took for the 11-year veteran to showcase his leadership skills to his third NFL team. “It doesn’t take guys long to see that. It's not saying anything, it's the actions of him doing. And yeah, you’d be pretty unaware not to notice it right away.”
Boldin plays the game with unbridled passion, much like Harbaugh coaches the 49ers. One thing about Boldin though, he never gets emotionally hijacked on the field.
In San Francisco’s playoff win over the Carolina Panthers, Boldin was being challenged physically and vocally by the opposition. In most cases, the veteran receiver only responded to the agitation. He never initiated it.
In the end, Boldin let his play do the talking: eight catches, 136 receiving yards and a victory.
The back-and-forth with defensive backs will undoubtedly continue against the Seahawks.
Boldin is in his first year with the 49ers and recognizes the severity of the rivalry with the Seahawks.
“It'll always be that way when you have two good teams in the same division,” Boldin said. “You play each other a couple times a year and if you’re good enough, possibly three times a year. It was the same way when I was in Baltimore playing against Pittsburgh. You respect each other as foes, but there is really a dislike.”
Boldin’s feelings towards the opposition will ultimately be tested on passing situations. The Seahawks employ a physical style in the secondary, but it doesn’t necessarily bother Boldin.
“For us we play football and let the refs do what they do,” he said.
Boldin won’t worry about referees throwing flags for holding or pass interference calls. It’s his job to make a play on the football in any situation.
“If you get called for it, it's holding, if not, it's not holding,” he said. “So, you just play football.”
Boldin said his experience in the postseason has allowed him to focus on the fundamentals of his position and not dwell on the magnitude of each game.
All Boldin can control is his job and continuing to be a valuable commodity for the 49ers.
And when the season is over, that's when Boldin will start to look into evaluating his future in San Francisco.
Despite being on a one-year contract with the 49ers, Boldin’s mind is solely on Sunday.
“That's something we will deal with in the offseason,” he said. “Right now, I'm focused in on beating Seattle.”