Wide receiver Anquan Boldin believes the player who has served as the 49ers’ starting quarterback the past four weeks is fully capable of holding that role for next season and, perhaps, beyond.
Boldin, appearing Thursday on the NFL Network’s "Around the NFL," was asked if Blaine Gabbert can be the 49ers’ quarterback of the future.
“I definitely think so,” Boldin said. “His body of work over the last couple of weeks speaks for itself. You just don’t come in and play the way that he’s been playing by luck. He’s honestly prepared the right way. He’s put himself in a position to be successful and he’s just going out there and having fun.”
The 49ers (4-8) are 2-2 since Gabbert took over for Colin Kaepernick. Gabbert has completed 63 percent of his passes, while the 49ers have experienced an improvement of more than 40 yards passing per game. Gabbert’s passer rating is 89.5.
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Gabbert tied the game last week against the Chicago Bears with a career-long 44 yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
“I wasn’t surprised by the 44-yard touchdown by Blaine,” Boldin said. “Anybody who has been around him, seen him in practice knows he has some wheels on him. I think that’s an underrated thing about Blaine. I don’t think people know how athletic he is. He can spin the ball, he can make every throw on the football field but he’s athletic as well and he can make plays with his legs.”
Then, Gabbert helped the 49ers pull out the 26-20 victory with a 71-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.
Gabbert’s performances have been a surprise to many who watched him during his three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars after entering the NFL in 2011 as the No. 10 overall pick.
So what did the 49ers know about Gabbert that nobody else knew?
“The type of quarterback that he is,” Boldin said. “We get a chance to see him every day obviously in practice. He can throw the ball with the best of them. But I think Blaine matured from having his struggles in Jacksonville. He’s had time to sit back and really learn.
“I think him coming over here has been a blessing in disguise for not only him but us as well. You’ve seen him the last couple of weeks, he’s been playing lights out. We’re happy to have him here, we enjoy playing with him and everybody on this team has confidence in him.”
Gabbert, 26, is virtually assured of being on the 49ers next season due to his scheduled $2 million salary.
However, Boldin, the 49ers leading receiver, is scheduled to be a free agent. Does Boldin, a 13-year veteran, intend to play next season?
“Oh, definitely,” Boldin said. “That’s without question.”