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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Open receiver

By Eddie Matz
ESPN The Magazine

Anquan Boldin
In the Ravens' run to the Super Bowl, Boldin logged 22 receptions for 380 yards.

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's March 18 One Day One Game issue. Subscribe today!

Go back to the huge third-and-one in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. How on earth did you catch that ball?
After Joe [Flacco] checked from a run play to a pass, I knew he was coming my way. The route was a slant-and-go, but my guy [corner Carlos Rogers] was playing inside, so I had to adjust. I hesitated a little to get him to shuffle his feet and then ran a fade route. We practice that back- shoulder throw all the time.

With no Ray Lewis, can the Ravens repeat?
I think so. You can't replace Ray, but the team has a lot of young talent. People might not know about a guy like Dannell Ellerbe, but he's one of the best young linebackers in the NFL. He was key to us winning this year.

You've said you'd rather retire than go to another team. You really mean that?
I'm not playing for money. I'm not chasing a championship. I don't play for individual accolades. I'm set. There's nothing else I have to prove.

Your teammate, safety Bernard Pollard, has emerged as one of the biggest hitters in football. Do you think he plays the game too violently?
It's tough for defenders now with how fast the game is being played. There are certain situations where a receiver lowers his head because he's about to get hit, and you end up getting flagged because he ducked. Even me as a blocker, I'm not worried about where I'm hitting the guy. I just have to make the block, and I'll deal with the consequences later.

You have an 8-year-old son. Do you let him play tackle football?
Not at that age. In the leagues I've seen, I don't feel kids are being taught how to properly tackle. I don't have a specific age when I think he'll be ready. I was playing on sandlots until I got to high school.

You and Larry Fitzgerald traveled to Ethiopia last offseason. What's the plan this year?
We're going to Senegal this time with Oxfam, a group that does a lot of relief efforts around the world. I'm bringing along Torrey Smith.

You won the Super Bowl, then came reports that you were being deposed in a lawsuit regarding a Ponzi scheme. What is your reaction?
The people writing about it have no idea. That's what sucks about the media. They make a story out of whatever they can. People read those stories and make assumptions. But I don't worry about it because I'm not in connection with any Ponzi scheme.

What will you miss the most when you do retire?
The relationships. There's nothing like the atmosphere in a locker room. If you've never played football, you can't really understand it.

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