Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark was a guest Monday morning on NFL AM to talk about several things related to the team, and he made it point to say that he was glad that the Baltimore Ravens decided to trade away wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers before the start of the free-agent signing period.
“I’m not upset about it at all — I think that was a very good move by the Baltimore Ravens,” Clark said with a laugh, via a report by Pro Football Talk.
Clark went on to praise Boldin from a matchup perspective and said that he thinks the Ravens will miss him in 2013.
“If you look at the plays Anquan Boldin makes . . . you think about the plays he made to get them to that Super Bowl, I think he’s the difference-maker, he’s the guy who brings the toughness to that receiving corps, I think it’s going to be tough to replace him, both leadership-wise, as well as his play on the field,” Clark said.
Clark is right to praise Boldin, who had 36 catches for 508 yards and three touchdowns in the six regular-season games that he played against the Steelers during his three seasons as a member of the Ravens. With Boldin now gone, the Ravens will likely turn to either Jacoby Jones or Tandon Doss to play opposite Torrey Smith, who has also made things tough on the Steelers during his first two seasons in the league.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti went as far as to say just last week during the owners meetings that his team might have to use a committee approach to fill Boldin\’s shoes.
Although Clark only talks about the Ravens changes on offense, the Steelers will also have a change in their defensive back personnel in 2013 as well. Cortez Allen will be asked to replace cornerback Keenan Lewis, who signed with the New Orleans Saints a few weeks ago, and William Gay returns to Pittsburgh to play in the nickel. So just as the Ravens have big shoes to fill, so too do the Steelers.