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49ers wonder if Boldin can be new go-to for Kaepernick

The SportsXchange

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- With wide receiver Michael Crabtree's season in jeopardy due to a torn Achilles tendon, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's search for a new go-to receiver has begun.

Anquan Boldin, whom the 49ers acquired in exchange for a sixth-round pick for after he helped the Baltimore Ravens to a victory in the Super Bowl, appears to be candidate No. 1. The veteran receiver heads into his 11th NFL season coming off a standout performance in the playoffs in which he caught 22 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns in four games.

He's resumed where he left off in the team's organized team activities.

"Really picked up the system fast and making plays," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Big catches in tight areas. You saw what we've been seeing for a couple of weeks now, very good."

For the time being, Boldin is in a lead-by-example role, but Harbaugh hasn't ruled out asking him to take on a bigger leadership position as things evolve.

"That could be something that develops. Right now, Anquan is not a talkative guy," Harbaugh said. "He's not a small-talk guy. He's just very serious about competing, and very serious about football and winning. I think it'll speak volumes if the young guys observe that."

Boldin was the No. 1 target on several plays during 49ers OTAs, working opposite the trio of players who hope to fill the void left by Crabtree's injury: A.J. Jenkins, Ricardo Lockette and rookie Quinton Patton. Those three combined for zero catches in the NFL last season, with Lockette's two career catches the ones only among the group.

"We've pretty much been upfront with the players and everybody what's going on here," Harbaugh said. "We've lumped the younger receivers, (Jenkins) and (Patton) and Lockette, in one spot and letting them concentrate on that. And first see who emerges from that group of players."

Mario Manningham (ACL) was not present, but receiver Kyle Williams (knee) was. He worked on drills off to the side and he tries to return from the injury that ended his 2012 season prematurely.

Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley had surgery following the season to repair a minor meniscus tear in his left knee, CSNBayArea.com reported. He has not taken part in OTAs.

Staley tweeted: "Procedure I had this offseason was very minor but necessary. I will be 100 percent and better than ever by training camp."

--Former 49ers linebacker Larry Grant, currently a free agent, issued an apology for his four-game suspension for taking a performance-enhancing substance. However, he also said didn't knowingly take anything illegal.

Grant's statement: "I've waited far too long to say my apologies to my children, my family, and friends, the 49ers organization, the buckeye nation, and my fans. Failing a drug test is far out of my character and although I never knowingly took a performance enhancing drug I take full responsibility for what goes in my body and more importantly for the embarrassment of a failed drug test."
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