The philosophy of ‘next man up’ is nothing new to football. It actually takes some of its’ origins from the days in which armies marched rank and file. When the man in front of you went down, you became the ‘next man up.’
For the Steelers’ Antwon Blake, he took advantage of a similar opportunity last season and now the chance of grabbing a starting spot opposite William Gay has emerged once again. With prized rookie Senquez Golson on the PUP list to start camp and the state of Cortez Allen up in the air, Blake can pounce.
In 2014, Blake played in all 16 games and earned a start in one of them. He recorded 38 tackles, had six passes defended and an interception as well. At 5′ 9″ Blake is not exactly going to be favored when going up against some of the taller receivers in the NFL, but his reliance on speed, technique and positioning allow him a chance on every pass thrown his way.
When Blake arrived in 2013 from Jacksonville, expectations were that he’d be a very good special teams player and at best a nickel or dime corner. Two years later, the former UTEP Miner is looking to take full advantage of the opportunity in front of him.
Notes From Day One:
Neal Coolong from DK on Pittsburgh Sports tweeted out some video of Ben Roethlisberger throwing to Martavis Bryant along the sideline. Roethlisberger was audibly unhappy with his throw that was low but Bryant dropped the very catchable pass. In my opinion, that’s the one issue that could keep Bryant from really emerging the way many believe he will. He tends to lack concentration on some throws and that will no doubt be an area of focus in camp.
Speaking of Roethlisberger, he told reporters he believes the Steelers’ offense should put up 30 points each week. Quite frankly he’s not wrong when you look at the firepower. The problem will be the red zone where he can improve and where Todd Haley needs to REALLY improve.
Le’Veon Bell tweeted this out today.
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) July 26, 2015
Landry Jones is facing a do or die camp and it didn’t start out real well today. He threw back-to-back picks in the red zone.
With Bruce Gradkowski on the PUP list, it puts even more pressure on Jones. Not only will he be expected to be better but he needs to fend off Tajh Boyd who is hungry for a spot on this team.
Loved the quote from Mike Tomlin today when he was asked about James Harrison not practicing. “I’m protecting him from himself.”
Steelers’ Practice for Monday July 27th is at 2:55pm ET.
Here’s the camp schedule if you haven’t seen it.