Anquan Boldin's preseason debut with the Buffalo Bills was rather forgettable.
During Thursday's 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the veteran receiver was targeted three times, catching one pass for 5 yards.
Few expected it to be Boldin's one and only game with the Bills, though. If he was thinking about retirement – which ESPN's Jim Trotter reported Sunday night – he gave no hints about those plans Friday in brief comments made to The Buffalo News.
Here is the complete transcript of that interview:
Question: Coming in when you did, a couple days later the team makes a big trade, a receiver you guys are counting on goes down – you've had injuries up front on the offensive line that has led to a lot of mixing and matching. I'm sure you've been through similar situations, but how do you compare it to those other times?
Boldin: "I would say it's a challenge, especially when you're trying to get everybody on the same page. You're trying to catch a rhythm. But that's football. That's the reality of it. You're not always going to have your starters in there. Sometimes in the season, guys go down and other guys have to step up, so in the long run I think it'll be good for us, because we're getting guys that are in backup positions quality reps. But for us, we would like to have all of our starters out there on the same page, going through everything together, getting that rhythm.
Q: How much do you attribute the offense not being where you'd want it to be right now to that lack of reps together?
AB: "That's part of it. Preseason, you're running base stuff. You're not game planning for defenses. You're real vanilla. I think that's the thing that people don't understand, that people don't see. But when you get in the season, everything is specific. Game-plan specific, team specific. We're running things to beat certain coverages. In the preseason, it's not like that. We're just trying to work on plays no matter what the coverage is. You're just trying to make adjustments that way, but when it gets to the season everything is tailored to whatever team you're playing.
Q: What are you focusing on most right now?
AB: "Just getting a rhythm with the quarterback and just getting in game shape, honestly. The only way you're going to get in game shape is if you play game football. We can come out, we can practice every day of the week, but that doesn't put you in game shape. For me, it's just getting a rhythm with the quarterback and making sure I'm ready come game one."
Q: (Coach) Sean McDermott said there were a couple instances where a receiver may have run the wrong route. ... That goes back to what you're talking about, that type of chemistry?
AB: "Definitely. I think that's what the preseason is for. Sometimes you have guys who may run a route a little deeper or a little shorter, whatever it is. Those are things you can come in on a day like today and correct. Let guys see themselves on film, and you just talk about it. You show guys, this is why this happened. This is why we had an incompletion on this play. ... Those are the things that you try to get ironed out before the regular season comes. That comes with time. Those are things that are easily correctable. We went into the meeting today, everybody talked about mistakes here and there -- penalites is definitely an emphasis for us -- but like I said, those are things that are correctable."