When the Ravens open the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, fans will take solace that Anquan Boldin and Lee Evans will start at wide receiver.
There is, however, no such certainty with regards to the No. 3 receiver. When the offense goes to a three-receiver set, rookies Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss or LaQuan Williams could line up in the slot or on the outside.
The development of the No. 3 receiver will be an important facet if the Ravens intend to improve as an offense.
“I think it’s real critical,” Boldin said prior to Thursday’s practice. “Whoever comes in is going to get man coverage. If they can come in and get man coverage, I think they’ll have a big year.”
Speaking of Boldin, he led the team in receptions (64) and yards (837) despite frequently seeing double coverage by opposing defenses. Boldin, who said that he anticipates double coverage “until the day I stop playing football,” said he didn’t mind such coverage.
“It means that somebody else has one-on-one coverage,” Boldin said. “In this league, that’s what it’s all about, getting matchups that you want.”