2015 DRAFT GUIDE
New WR Anquan Boldin also helping 49ers defense

    2013-07-27 02:44

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By ANTONIO GONZALEZ
AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - With so much talent returning on defense, several San Francisco 49ers players have taken advantage of an intriguing new resource in training camp: newcomer Anquan Boldin.

The versatile wide receiver said Friday that curiosity has simmered from his defensive teammates about how opponents scheme against the unit since he joined the 49ers this offseason. And nobody in practice might know better than Boldin, who caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown to help the Baltimore Ravens beat San Francisco 34-31 in the Super Bowl.

``A lot of guys came up to me and asked me, `What did the scouting report have on it? What did it say?''' Boldin said. ``Things like that. I've had a chance to communicate that to guys.''

While he's not going to make those schemes public knowledge, Boldin has passed along that information to teammates while doing his own job catching passes from Colin Kaepernick. Picking Boldin's brain for ideas is just one of many ways the 49ers' defense - among the NFL's best the past two seasons - is trying to improve from within.

After all, San Francisco has almost everybody back on defense again. That continuity helps build upon past success, but it also allows little opportunities to improve - other than from within.

``When you've done it so many times and you're OK at a lot of positions, we try to find little nitpicky things to get better on,'' cornerback Carlos Rogers said.

The departures of All-Pro safety Dashon Goldson and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga left the most glaring vacancies to fill among the starting unit. At the other nine positions, San Francisco still seems stacked.

The 49ers ranked third in total defense (294.4 yards), fourth in yards rushing allowed (94.2) and fourth in yards passing allowed per game (200.2) last season. The unit still had flaws, though, most notably going from No. 1 in takeaways (38) two years ago to No. 6 (25) in the league last season.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio spent time with players this summer reviewing what went wrong, particularly late in the year and in the playoffs, when the 49ers fell behind far too often and failed to create turnovers at the same rate. He also outlined what they could improve upon this season, pushing players who are highly decorated by pointing out the one accolade they're still missing: a Super Bowl title.

``We have guys who are willing to learn and willing to hear any type of critique from your peers, and I think that makes us a better team,'' All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman said. ``We have an ultimate goal to reach, and that's the greatest thing about it. We're all working so hard to reach that ultimate goal.''

Among Fangio's points of emphasis was for players to practice the same technique and team principles in big moments - especially against elite talent such as Green Bay, Atlanta and Baltimore that all had success against them in the playoffs - that carried the defense to consecutive NFC championship games and the Super Bowl last season.

The other is to build some much-needed depth behind the starters, who play as many minutes as any in the NFL. That lack of depth was particularly evident when lineman Justin Smith missed the final 2 1/2 games of the regular season with a partially torn left triceps and was somewhat limited during the playoffs.

``It's an area of concern,'' Fangio said.

The loudest sounding board for the defense besides Fangio has been Boldin. The savvy wide receiver, who has described himself as quiet and reserved most of the time in his new surroundings, has been more than willing to help.

One of the tidbits Boldin revealed publicly about scheming against the 49ers is that the Ravens were particularly concerned about how much talent San Francisco had throughout its defense - that there wasn't just one or two players to scheme against. Baltimore spread the 49ers out, particularly in the first half, allowing Boldin to run through pockets over the middle and force Bowman and fellow All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis to chase faster receivers and tight ends.

The benefits have gone both ways.

Boldin said he's also taking advantage of going against such a strong 49ers defense every day. He called the challenge ``the same'' as facing Baltimore's vaunted unit the past three years in practice.

``You want a challenge every day,'' Boldin said. ``You want guys that are going to make you work because in the end that makes you better as an offense. Offensively, here, we don't have any days off going against this defense. They have a lot of studs on the other side of the ball, and I think that's a plus for us.''

---

AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this story.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

Joique BellJul 29 07:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (undisclosed) was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday, July 29, as he recovers from offseason surgery. It is unclear what the [ More ]

James WrightJul 29 06:43p

Free-agent WR James Wright (Bengals) was placed on Reserve/Injured Wednesday, July 29.

Jordan ReedJul 29 05:43p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (knee) has been cleared for full participation in training camp, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

Chase CoffmanJul 29 04:53p

Free-agent TE Chase Coffman (Titans) re-signed with the Tennessee Titans Wednesday, July 29, according to a source.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:33p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) can be placed on the Non-Football Injury list if/when he signs his franchise tender. Owner John Mara said the team would like [ More ]

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 29 04:23p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) is receiving his own medical treatment and rehabilitation at his home. There is currently no timetable for his return. Pierre-Paul, however, could [ More ]

Roddy WhiteJul 29 03:43p

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White (knee) had his left knee drained before minicamp, and he could have it drained again before the season ends. White isn't concerned about it, [ More ]

Ryan KerriganJul 29 01:43p

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday, July 29, worth $11.5 million per season, according to a source. The deal includes a $16 million signing bonus.

Cyrus GrayJul 29 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray was released Wednesday, July 29.

Carlos HydeJul 29 11:13a

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde is not believed to be injured and shouldn't be on the non-football injury list for long. Hyde suffered a calf injury during spring [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 09:23a

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady posted on Facebook that he replaced his broken phone with a new one after his attorneys told the NFL 'my [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 29 01:53a

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady could have had his suspended reduced based on a series of conditions. According to a source with knowledge of [ More ]

Eric BerryJul 29 01:43a

Kansas City Chiefs SS Eric Berry (illness) has been cleared to take the practice field with the team Wednesday, July 29. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December [ More ]

Geno SmithJul 28 08:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith could be benched if he struggles early in the season, according to head coach Todd Bowles Tuesday, July 28. 'If you feel that [ More ]

Ryan WilliamsJul 28 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys RB Ryan Williams (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, July 28.

Brodrick BunkleyJul 28 05:43p

New Orleans Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (undisclosed) was released with a failed physical designation Tuesday, July 28.

James WrightJul 28 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR James Wright (knee) was waived with an injured designation Tuesday, July 28.

Darrin ReavesJul 28 05:33p

Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves was waived Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 05:13p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is facing a four-game suspension, but the Patriots have done fairly well without him. In games Brady has missed since he became a [ More ]

Tom BradyJul 28 04:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has given permission to the NFL Players Association to appeal his case in federal court, according to a source. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell [ More ]

Lamar MillerJul 28 03:43p

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller may see an increase in carries in 2015, according to head coach Joe Philbin. 'If he's cranking and he got it 24 times a [ More ]

Le'Veon BellJul 28 03:03p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's original three-game suspension has been reduced to a two-game suspension Tuesday, July 28.

Tom BradyJul 28 02:53p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension has been upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 28.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group