Cardinals’ Boldin Dampers Spotlight

Last Updated: January 21st, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

In the midst of the Arizona Cardinals first ever trip to the Super Bowl and NFC Championship last Sunday, star wide receiver Anquan Boldin had a melt down on the sidelines with offensive coordinator Todd Haley. In case you haven’t heard or seen, Boldin is very unhappy with the way he has been used during the postseason for Arizona despite the Cardinals success. Call me crazy, but if my team was going to the Super Bowl I would not care near as much if I was not catching every touchdown on the field. I know Boldin has been a huge factor this season for the Cardinals and he is a tremendous player I just think these actions could have been avoided. When this argument ignited, the Eagles had the ball with a little under 6 minutes to play and the Cardinals were facing the idea of suffering defeat from a big come back from Philadelphia. Still Arizona would end up making a game winning drive and earning their first trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history.

Boldin’s actions come at a time that was not only surprising considering the magnitude of position of the game, but during a time that would have more likely hurt the time rather than helped. Anquan Boldin is a stellar wide receiver that has never been in any type of off the field issues. Boldin’s presence in the Arizona lineup means everything to the Cardinals success. Perhaps Boldin just is not happy that all the touchdowns and catches are going to the other playmaker on the other side of the field in teammate Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has been unstoppable during the playoffs with big play after big play. Fitzgerald broke a playoff record with 419 receiving yards over the last 3 games including the first ever player to score 3 touchdowns in the first half of the NFC Championship Game. Boldin and Fitzgerald were dynamic forces together on the field this season. Both star receivers had over 1,000 yards and combined for an outstanding 23 touchdowns for the year. The numbers were fairly split with Fitzgerald catching a few more yards, but with nearly identical touchdown numbers. However, since the playoffs Fitzgerald has stolen the spotlight.

Anquan Boldin only caught 4 passes for 34 yards in the Cardinals NFC Championship win last Sunday and by those numbers you might understand why the star player was upset. However, when your teammate is constantly breaking open and making big plays to put your team ahead I do not see where the conflict comes in. Boldin only has 119 yards during the playoff this season, but I believe with the actions of last Sunday he actually hurt his Super Bowl performance before the game takes place and here is why: The Steelers are going to have to lock down on Larry Fitzgerald possibly not only with a cornerback, but with a safety coming in for doubling support. You would have to think that would be priority number one. This would have likely played into Boldin’s advantage giving him the opportunity to make some big plays. Do not get me wrong there is no defense in the NFL that is going to forget Boldin’s amazing talent and simply not cover him. However, with the outburst on the sideline and the media frenzy the Steelers are much more likely to give even extra attention to the ball coming Boldin’s direction during the Super Bowl.

It is just hard to understand Boldin’s actions last Sunday. Sure I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he was caught up in the heat of the moment, but still if the Cardinals lose the game there would have been a lot more fingers pointing to Anquan for the sidelines controversy that was going on. These Terrell Owens type antics are not expected from a player as respected as much as Anquan Boldin is by teammates and friends. I would not go as far as to say Boldin is not happy for the success that Larry Fitzgerald has had in recent games, but I would not hold back from saying there is a bit of jealousy there as well. What makes the scenario even worse, is that after the game Boldin was no where to be found. Big deal many might think, but this was after his team had just won the NFC Championship and they were all celebrating together. All the hard work that goes into the off-season and the painful workouts are what makes those moments with teammates so special when everyone feels rewarded together. Except one of the biggest players that helped get them together was headed back to the locker rooms instead of celebrating on the field with his team. Hopefully and likely this will not affect the Cardinals chances of winning a Super Bowl, but still the actions and timing were a little bit out of line.

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Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 @ 11:03 am (EST)
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