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Boldin makes informal Ravens debut vs. Carolina

August 12, 2010

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Anquan Boldin doesn't expect to feel a sweeping wave of emotion Thursday night when he walks onto the field for his first game with the Baltimore Ravens.

The three-time Pro Bowl receiver will save that kind of sentiment for the regular season.

The Ravens obtained Boldin and Donte' Stallworth during the offseason to bolster a passing attack that last year ranked 18th in yardage and featured only one wide receiver with more than 34 catches.

After spending his first seven years in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, Boldin will informally launch the next phase of his career in Baltimore's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers.

His excitement level isn't exactly at a fever pitch.

"No, I'll leave that for when we get to New York," he said, referring to the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against the Jets.

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And Thursday night?

"We just want to see where we're at as an offense with the first unit -- get out, move around, hit another team and make it out safely," Boldin said.

With Arizona, Boldin had 586 catches for 7,520 yards and 44 touchdowns, including 1,024 yards on 84 receptions in 2009. After trading for him in March, the Ravens handed Boldin a $28 million, four-year deal and ushered him onto the field to create some chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco.

Although the Flacco-Boldin connection remains a work in progress, both are clearly on the same page in the playbook.

"I think we're real comfortable. We come out here every day. We talk about certain things. I tell him what I like, what I want to see him do," Boldin said.

The duo won't put all their moves on display against the Panthers, mainly because the teams will play again in November in a game that will count. Perhaps that's why Boldin is approaching Thursday's contest with the same enthusiasm as a trip to the dentist.

"As a veteran, you just want to get it over with," he said. "It's preseason. We're probably going to be in there about two series, three series at the most. You just want to get out there and kind of get used to the football speed of things."

Boldin doesn't need to make an impression on Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Asked after a recent practice to express what Boldin brings to the team, Harbaugh replied, "Well, so far in this camp he's brought us a lot of first downs. He's a hard worker, he's a positive guy, he's really pushing the envelope with our guys as far as teaching them the game. I think that's been a big help."

At Monday's practice, Flacco tossed a 50-yard pass that Boldin caught hauled in behind two defenders in the front left corner of the end zone. But Boldin is just as effective on an 8-yard slant over the middle.

"You can put the ball anywhere around him and he's going to come to it strong and go get it for you," Flacco said. "I figured that out in a short period of time. He's just a bright guy. He knows football."

By the second quarter, Boldin and Flacco will be on the sideline. In the preseason, winning is unimportant and emerging without injury is imperative.

"You basically hold your breath and you pray (to avoid) the big injury, because there's nothing you can do about that," Harbaugh said. "If after the game we can say we got through it injury-free, that's really a victory."

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