Anquan Boldin earns high praise

Tedy Bruschi loves him some Anquan Boldin.

The ESPN analyst and former New England hard-hat linebacker revealed his All-Bruschi team in this piece. He recognized clutch, under-the-radar performers at each position. Boldin, a 33-year-old receiver who just finished a smashing first season with the San Francisco 49ers, made the team. In fact, Bruschi called Boldin, who the 49ers acquired in a trade with the Ravens last year, his team captain.

Here is what Bruschi had to say about Boldin:

Clutch. Pure Clutch. Ask the Baltimore Ravens what they missed this year and if the immediate answer is not Anquan Boldin, they're telling a fib. Is he the biggest receiver? No. Is he the fastest receiver? No way. Is he the most valuable player you can have on a team? Absolutely! The 49ers think so. Boldin was the Bill Walsh Award winner, given to the team's MVP. Boldin has been with the 49ers for one season and has already established himself as a leader and tone setter. It's not just the 85 receptions, 1,179 yards and 7 TDs. He also blocks like a beast and gives the entire team confidence in knowing that when the ball is in the air and the game is on the line, Boldin will find a way to get the job done and put the team on his back if he's on the field. He's a two-time All-Bruschi selection. This is my captain. If I had a Boldin jersey, I'd be wearing it right now.

The 49ers agree with Bruschi. The front office, coaching staff and the players all quickly fell for Boldin. Bringing him back in free agency is a priority.