During the 2014 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and defensive backs coach CarnellLake both made it a point to mention the name of third-year cornerback Antwon Blake when talking about depth in the secondary.
On Tuesday during practice, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin let the former undrafted free agent know that he’s continuing to be noticed by him as well.
“I see what you’re doing 41,” said Tomlin to Blake, according to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider.
Prior to veteran cornerback Ike Taylor arriving for OTA practices, Blake had reportedly been running third on the cornerback depth chart and that would put him ahead of the more experienced Brice McCain, who the Steelers signed during the offseason following his release from the Houston Texans.
While Blake only managed to play a total of five snaps last season on defense, he was one of the Steelers top special teams players as a gunner on the punt coverage team.
Blake told Wexell that he believes he’s one of the fastest players on the team currently and that he ran a 4.18 40-yard dash at his 2012 Pro Day. Lake referenced that speed last month when talking about the Texas-El Paso product..
“Antoine Blake is one, very fast, quick, aggressive corner that I liked coming out of last year,” Lake said.
The battle between Blake and McCain for the No. 4 spot on the Steelers depth chart figures to be a good one over the remainder of the summer, but there’s no doubt that the former has a pretty good bead on a roster spot right now thanks to him already proving himself to special teams coach Danny Smith last season. Should he continue to get positive call-outs from Tomlin, McCain might very well find himself expendable.