First off is his annual charity function, Q-Fest, which is celebrating its seventh year to benefit the Anquan Boldin Foundation. Boldin established the foundation to help improve after-school programs in his hometown of Pahokee, Fla. His eventual goal is to build a community center for kids of all ages.
Q-Fest is a three-day event beginning April 14 with a charity golf tournament played at PGA National, which is home to the Honda Classic, a celebrity basketball game at Boldin’s alma mater at Pahokee High and a kid’s day at the park. Boldin’s peers always lend a helping hand, and this year’s guest list includes NFL stars like Ed Reed, Ray Rice, Tim Tebow, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Devin Hester and Pierre Garcon, among others.
“I’m very excited,” Boldin said. “Every year it seems to get bigger and bigger. I’m definitely looking forward to it. It means a lot to the community. They look forward to it every year. People always ask me about the next one every time they see me. I’m definitely proud of how it’s turned out.”
Boldin was also proud of his first year in Baltimore in 2010, which ended with a second-round playoff loss against Pittsburgh. Boldin finished the season with 64 catches for 837 yards and seven touchdowns on 108 targets. But he knows he’s capable of more.
He said if the lockout continues, he plans to work with quarterback Joe Flacco and fellow teammates to organize workouts in Baltimore. Flacco has also spoken about getting together with teammates and plans to work out in Arizona with tight end Todd Heap.
For Boldin, he wants to become more familiar with Flacco. He felt that was a problem at times in their first year together. Prior to joining the Ravens, Boldin was a standout receiver in Arizona, and he had an excellent rapport with former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner. Boldin hopes to develop that same kind of chemistry with Flacco in 2011.
Boldin said last year when Flacco was in trouble or needed to make a play, he would look for Heap or fellow receiver Derrick Mason. Flacco has played with Mason and Heap for three seasons, and they have become a security blanket for the young quarterback.
“It was good, but it was definitely not to the level that it could be or the level that I had with Kurt,” Boldin said of his rapport with Boldin. “Once things got rolling, he went to his safety valve, which was Mason and Heap. That just makes sense. We’ll have a better feel for each other next year.”
Boldin got off to a fast start with the Ravens in 2010, which made Fantasy owners happy. He had 38 catches for 518 yards and five touchdowns in his first seven games.
But things tailed off from there as Boldin closed the year with just 26 catches for 319 yards and two touchdowns in his final nine outings, and Fantasy owners were left disappointed. He began to see extra coverage, and Boldin said his goal was to “open things up more for Mase and Heap.” Still, not being heavily involved on offense bothered Boldin.
“It can get frustrating, especially coming from the system I came from,” he said. “But I know I’m not an outcast. I understand when it gets down to it you’re going to go where you’re comfortable. Joe and I will get there.”
That’s why Boldin is excited to work out with Flacco as often as possible this offseason, and he has high praise for his new quarterback. Even though Boldin loved playing with Warner, he thinks Flacco has the makings of a star.
“He progressed over the season,” Boldin said. “The scary thing is he hasn’t reached his potential yet. He has the best physical tools of anyone I’ve ever played with, including Kurt. He can make every throw on the field.”
We consider Flacco a high-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside. If he plays as Boldin predicts then he would be a steal with a mid-round pick. It helps that the Ravens have an excellent schedule this year with out of division opponents in the AFC South (Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee) and the NFC West (Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis and Seattle), which boasted some of the worst passing defenses in 2010.
That should help Boldin, Mason, Heap and Ray Rice all post outstanding years as well.
“With the weapons we have right now we can be one of the top offenses in this league,” Boldin said. “I think we have the chance to be special.”
As for Boldin, he remains a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver worth a pick around Round 4 or 5. We expect him to have a more consistent year in 2011, and his overall stats should improve.
Boldin is looking forward to a busy summer. And if all goes as planned, that should lead to a productive fall.
For more information on Q-Fest or the Anquan Boldin Foundation, visit anquanq81foundation.com.