SANTA CLARA -- Anquan Boldin isn't cowering at the prospect of getting hit Sunday in Tampa, when the 49ers oppose their former safety Dashon Goldson.
"He's a guy that can bring it," Boldin said Thursday, "but as a receiver, you don't worry about that stuff. If you get hit, you get hit, then just find them on a running play."
Boldin's tenacious approach has shown up in recent wins over the St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks. After each game, he talked about welcoming any and all physical challenges.
Goldson certainly will offer that, too. His penchant for hard hits already has earned him a one-game NFL suspension this season. Boldin praised Goldson as a physical, smart player, and their familiarity dates back to Boldin's NFC West days with the Arizona Cardinals and the previous three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.
But Goldson isn't the most high-profile player in the Buccaneers secondary. That would be Darrelle Revis, whom Boldin faced a few times when Revis was with the New York Jets.
As expected, Boldin is the 49ers' leading receiver (67 catches, 915 yards, five touchdowns) while they work Michael Crabtree back into the mix. Despite the passing game's recent strides, it ranks last in yards per game, and Boldin notes there's "a lot of room for improvement."
Two games into his comeback from Achilles surgery, Crabtree was limited Thursday for a second straight day with an ankle issue that offensive coordinator Greg Roman said is not related to the Achilles tear.
Getting that Boldin-Crabtree tandem up to elite status will be a key for the 49ers (9-4) heading into the playoffs, assuming they indeed clinch a berth, which they can do as early as Sunday.
"You're always evaluating that part of it as a coach, trying to see what players do what best, trying to put guys in different situations to take advantage of different matchups," Boldin said. "That's an ongoing process."
With 85 yards against the Buccaneers, Boldin would reach the 1,000-yard mark for a sixth season. He is tied for first in the NFL with 27 third-down receptions (for 400 yards).
"The only thing I'll say is he's in the third year of a five-year contract, and I love the job that he's doing," York told this newspaper's Tim Kawakami. "But now is not the right time to talk about anything like that. We've got three games left in the regular season and a potential playoff berth, and that's what everybody here's focused on.
"We'll sit down at the end of the season and talk about all this -- and I hope he has the utmost leverage when we do that ... meaning after we win a Super Bowl."
Sports Illustrated reported that Harbaugh declined a two-year extension offer before the season. Harbaugh left Stanford after the 2010 season and is assured of his third straight winning season as 49ers coach.