[caption id="attachment_23430" align="aligncenter" width="446"] Charlie Riedel / Associated Press[/caption] Anquan Boldin was clearly rewarded for his patience when he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. The WR wanted a ring, and after coming so close while playing for the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII (losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in typical, heartbreaking fashion) he knew he wanted to go to a contender. Fortunately, the Ravens also matched his physical style of play. But it didn't come easy to him. After being drafted by the Cardinals in 2003, and failing to win the big game in Arizona, Boldin's first year with the Ravens was a disappointment -- in fact he is yet to reach 1000 yards in any of his three seasons with Baltimore -- and the big-bodied receiver soon suffered criticism of his age (32) and lack of speed. The critics are right, in a way. Boldin doesn't have breakaway speed, nor can he easily get separation from the defender covering him. He's not going to blow the top off defences and that's why the Ravens drafted Torrey Smith in 2011. But what Boldin does have is a big body, which he uses to shield defenders from the ball. By doing so he is able to go up, make the reception and most importantly, continue to gain yardage after the catch. Boldin is particularly hard to bring down -- you only need to witness his brutalising of corner Chris Culliver during Super Bowl XLVII (at about 1:10 in) to see what I mean. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDI5T6bEoHE Boldin's time at the Ravens hasn't been without trial, despite his solid performances. The Ravens continually drafted new talent and brought in veterans to compete, few truly challenging his hold on he roster. He, like the majority of the team, endured the anguish of their AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots in 2011-12 after coming so close but once again having it stripped away in heartbreaking fashion. These trials made it all the more sweeter, as on the day of Super Bowl XLVII, he caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, leading all Baltimore receivers in the process and picking up some vital first downs. And even sweeter again, through the rewards of patience, the veteren receiver will now sport a Super Bowl ring. Well deserved.