Kurt Warner says Ravens will miss Boldin

Kurt Warner says Ravens will miss Boldin
August 14, 2013, 7:00 am
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Playing with Flacco a big draw for Clark

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, Wednesday August 14.

Two-minute topic: Kurt Warner thinks it will be difficult for the Ravens to replace Anquan Boldin.

OWINGS MILLS – Warner, who threw for 32,244 yards during his career, knows Boldin extremely well. They went to a Super Bowl together. They were teammates for five seasons with the Cardinals. In four of those seasons, Boldin had more than 1,000 yards receiving.

The Cardinals thought they could replace Boldin when he left to sign with the Ravens in 2010.The Cardinals were wrong. They have been looking for a consistent No. 2 receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald ever since.

“I had Larry Fitzgerald, but when the three of us were together, when I needed a play to be made, I was looking for Anquan,” Warner told CSNBaltimore.com during a Tuesday phone interview.

“He was one of the greatest competitors that I’ve ever been around. The thing about Q (Boldin), you look at him and say, `He doesn’t have the greatest speed, his skill set’s not the best, we can always find somebody who has his physical ability, so that won’t be hard to replace.’ We said that in Arizona. They probably said the same thing in Baltimore. But in critical moments in a game, when you need a play to be made, and you want a go-to guy, a guy that wants the ball, a guy that will compete? That’s what you get with Anquan Boldin."

Warner, now an analyst with NFL Network, understands why the Ravens recently signed tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Brandon Stokley. However, Warner still wonders if Joe Flacco has the weapons he needs to get back to a Super Bowl.

“I’m not sure they have enough in the passing game offensively,” Warner said. “With Dennis (Pitta) going down, that’s a huge blow. I know they have the two guys on the outside that they had last year (Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones). I don’t want to say they’re one-trick ponies, but they’re guys who have specialized more in going down the field.

"But here’s what makes Anquan special. He’s better when the game’s on the line, when the play is contested. When the atmosphere is most competitive, he thrives. You don’t find that very often. Those guys are not a dime a dozen. Those guys are rare, and they’re very, very difficult to replace. They’ll need somebody who comes close to matching that for Joe.”

Warner’s comments may be bulletin board material for the Ravens. Collectively, their receivers face the challenge of proving Warner wrong.

Morning Thought: "I know at some point it’s going to be over. I’m just trying to hold on, trying to keep competing, until everybody closes the door on me and says no more."

- Ravens wide receiver Brandon Stokley.

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