Boldin: Fixing problems 'not a mystery'

Updated: September 16, 2009, 10:23 PM ET
Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The ever-blunt Anquan Boldin spoke out to his teammates after Arizona's sloppy season-opening loss.

The three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver had played in the game despite a hamstring injury. He had seen the Cardinals succumb to the San Francisco 49ers with an avalanche of mistakes, and he was upset.

Exactly what he said isn't known, but he made it clear on Wednesday that he was surprised and disappointed with the NFC champions' lack of attention to detail in the 20-16 loss.

"We're all grown men. We've played this game for a long time," Boldin said. "We all know what we have to do and we've got to take it upon ourselves as an individual, as a man. You've got to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, 'Did I do everything I'm supposed to do?'"

After being penalized 12 times for 82 yards, the Cardinals should realize that correcting the mistakes is "not a mystery," he said.

"Offsides is not hard to fix. Delay of game is not hard to fix," Boldin said. "We probably had six pre-snap penalties. That's something that you can control."

The attention-to-detail issue has been a constant theme as Arizona went 0-4 in the preseason and then made the same sort of mistakes against the 49ers.

Asked if he was surprised that the offense, virtually intact from last season, would have these kinds of problems, Boldin said, "Definitely."

"Because I felt like it's a veteran group, guys that have been together," he said, "guys who went through some tough times together, so I'm definitely surprised."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt called Boldin "a warrior" for playing despite the hamstring injury that had kept him out of practice nearly all of last week. Boldin was especially needed after it was determined at the last minute that wide receiver Steve Breaston couldn't go because of a bruised kneecap.

"I felt like it was important for me to be out there anyway," Boldin said. "If I'm able to go, even if it's at 70 percent, I'm still going to be out there."

He said the injury still is bothering him, but it was much better than it was last week and he was able to practice on Wednesday. He liked what he saw from his teammates in the workout.

"There was definitely a difference in practice from last week to today," he said. "There's more attention to detail. The tempo is more upbeat and guys seem to be more into it."

Breaston was not able to practice but wide receiver Early Doucet, who has been sidelined with fractured ribs, was able to work out.

Boldin's fellow star receiver, All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald, echoed Boldin's belief that everyone on the offense had a hand in the loss.

"Everybody took their turns making mistakes," Fitzgerald said. "We all, collectively as a unit, we need to play better. If we do that, I think we'll be just fine and go out there and put points up and do what we're accustomed to doing."

Fitzgerald said that having a healthy Boldin will make it much tougher on defenders, and he said the team sorely misses Breaston.

"What Steve does is so unique," Fitzgerald said. "You can line him up anywhere and Steve's going to be able to beat big guys on one-on-one coverage when Q and I are both in there."

Fitzgerald, who counts himself among those who erred in the game, said he expects to face ever-changing defensive schemes designed to stop him.

"If I want to be the player that I aspire to be, I'm going to have to raise my level of play every week," he said. "No matter what teams try to do to stop me, I'm going to have to make plays."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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