San Francisco 49ers

Anquan Boldin on 49ers’ departures: ‘Honestly, man, you move on’

SANTA CLARA -- Anquan Boldin arrived at work this week to find a quick-paced offense, more speed at receiver and some changes with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

What he hasn't found is any despair.

"Energy level is high, expectations (haven't) changed," Boldin, the 49ers' leading pass catcher the last two seasons, said. "If you're not playing to win a championship, then you don't need to be in this locker room. That's the only reason I come here to play, and I'm sure I speak for everybody in the locker room."

Boldin struck many of the same chords his former Florida State and Arizona Cardinals teammate, Darnell Dockett, cited on Tuesday. One of them is that despite the exodus of long-time veterans like Frank Gore, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith, there is still plenty of leadership and talent left over.

Indeed, Boldin played a large role in luring the 49ers' biggest free-agent acquisition, former Ravens teammate Torrey Smith, to San Francisco in the offseason.

"I think there's a lot of talent in this locker room," Boldin said. "If we play the way we're capable of playing, we'll be right in the hunt."

Boldin, a 12-year veteran, spent the voluntary portion of the offseason in his native Florida. He arrived this week and during Tuesday's session was struck by how much faster the team is at wideout.

"Not only Torrey but a guy like Jerome Simpson," Boldin said. "You've got (tight end) Vernon (Davis) and these guys are flying around. Definitely seeing a lot more speed on the outside. Like I said, it will open a lot of things up for us."

As for Kaepernick, Boldin said he's noticed a difference in the quarterback's delivery after Kaepernick spent nearly three months in Phoenix working on his mechanics.

"But as a receiver, you honestly don't care how the ball comes out," he said. "Just catch it. A lot of people make a big stink about it. But our job is to catch the football, and that's all you pay attention to."

The no-nonsense receiver also shrugged at the team's offseason departures.

"Honestly, man, you move on," he said. "You have no choice. You're definitely going to miss those guys. You love being teammates with them, you love competing with them. But at the end of the day, you have to move on. And you have to concern yourself with the guys that are in the locker room. You've got to be able to prepare those guys as best as possible to get ready to play."

Asked if he contemplated retirement, Boldin, 34, laughed and said, no. He said he's at a point in his career where he'll assess himself on a year-to-year basis. But after a season in which he caught 83 passes for 1,062 yards, he said this isn't the time to walk away.

"I feel ready now," he said. "My body feels great and (I'm) still playing at a high level. So I'm here."

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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