Newcomer B.W. Webb Should Follow The Path Of Antwon Blake

Around this time a year ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up a second-year cornerback off waivers and added him to their 53-man roster, carrying him throughout the entire season.

The Steelers released Isaiah Green, who made the roster initially, in order to make room for Antwon Blake, while Green spent the rest of the year bouncing between the practice squad and the roster, ultimately seeing some action on special teams.

Blake was a player that the Steelers were a fan of entering the 2012 draft, even though he went undrafted and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Defensive backs coach Carnell Lake in particular was a member of the coaching staff in his corner.

During the 2014 draft, when addressing the media following the fifth-round selection of Shaquille Richardson, Lake named Blake as a player in-house that will help the team at the position that many might not be aware of.

Not many were aware of Blake because he wasn’t ready to contribute when he was brought in. He came from a different system and needed to learn the way the Steelers conduct their business on defense before the coaching staff could trust him.

Blake spent two of the first four weeks on the inactive list, even though he was signed primarily to contribute on special teams, but once he worked his way onto the field, he quickly ensconced himself in his duties as a gunner and became a core special teams player.

A few days ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up a second-year cornerback off waivers and added him to their 53-man roster. Whether or not they carry him throughout the entire season remains to be seen.

However, B.W. Webb is yet another player that the coaching staff liked from the previous draft. In fact, he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys just one pick ahead of the Steelers in the fourth round.

As with Blake, the addition of Webb obviously cost somebody a roster spot, though it’s not clear whom. It could have been a cornerback like Green or Richardson, but perhaps more likely it was somebody like Chris Carter.

The case can be made that the Steelers wouldn’t have signed Webb had Brice McCain not injured his groin, though the effectiveness of such an argument at the moment can’t be determined until we know more about the severity of the injury. As of now, we can only speculate about the man’s groin.

As it stands, it seems that Webb may follow the same path as Blake the year before. He was a strong special teams contributor in college, though not quite as active during his rookie season as Blake was.

He may not be active right away, but the Steelers figure to get him some activity on special teams at some point down the line, and who knows, he may even see a snap or two on defense as he, too, goes through the process of learning the system. One trait that he does bring that is lacking is a bit of length, as all the other reserve cornerbacks are 5’10” or under.

Perhaps at around this time next year we may be talking about Webb in the same regard as Blake, as a valued special teams player who is ready and, presumably, able to make some contributions on defense in his second year of digesting its complexities.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Steel PAul

    I sure hope the team is looking for another veteran CB too though…

  • 2443scott

    seems the steelers upgraded def line and lbers with younger guys ..and for the most part the off line as well now they seem to be shifting to the cbs….so in the next draft or wavier wire where will they be looking to improve at if steelers finish with a good season the better cbs wont be on board when they pick..from what i saw on waiver wire there wasnt hardly any vets out there who are better then what the steelers already got that are young enough….there were a few qbs who would be a improvement over landry nameingly pryor painter….but has anyone noticed some one who could be a up grade of who the steelers have now on wavier wire who are not on there last legs in the league…..

  • Melly

    Maybe they will invest a high pick on a CB(in 2015), so we can all sleep well at night?? To the Pitt FO…ITS A PASSING LEAGUE! I think Ike spoiled them? He WAS a good, shut down your #1 WR, kind of guy. Resigning Lewis would of helped, but…! I’ll be screaming each play when I see our CBs playing 7yds off of the ball!
    I’ll be rooting for Webb to contribute!!!


    At this point he would just be someone else’s castoff. Free agency and the draft would have been the best time if the FO thought it necessary. (As all of Steeler Nation did)



  • steelant

    Im praying that in the 2015 draft we draft a corner first round . Like wtf ike is gone next year. willie g turning 30. Cortez has not been extended yet . Come on tomlin colbert help and also fire lebeau 4 playin our corners 15 yards off every play.

  • Terrible Towlie

    if we can resign Cortez( after he has a season making him worth resigning) and make a M Mitchell like free agent cb signing we should be ok to be open to draft the best player available….I’d love to see some hybred 3-4 4-3 fronts this year, like getting MT McCulllers on the field with Keisel, Heyward, and Tuitt all at once, and moving Shazier to OLB occasionally as no OT alive will be able to keep up as they watch him breeze on by…I wouldn’t be surprised to see a move back to the original Chuck Noll Steel Curtain D as Tomlin was schooled in it by Tony Dungy in Tampa(tampa 2 my ass, it was Noll’s D ran by Dungy) recent drafs and signing have us heading that way(like only keeping 3 OLB’s, not signing Worlids past this year and having lots of big fast young Dlinemen on roster and practice squad most of which are tweeners who could play the take up blocker style or get after it as they all have good to very good speed) we are also stocked with smallish, speedy young LB’s, and if this is Troy’s last year….Sharko and Mitchell have the type of speed to easily split halves of the field and cover it well…. I would definitely not be against the idea as everybody seems to run a 3-4 these days, and its good to be different…..our 3-4 was most effective when it was most unique…..even in the 80’s, we may not have beat you but we did beat you up…. as for upgrades available….here are my picks….
    QB’s Pryor (play slash until he can be a true qb and Ben retires) Mike Kafka (plays a similar never say die type of game as BB) Dominique Davis(from Matt Ryan’s back up last year to free agent now, rocket arm, classic NFL QB)Zac Dysert Denver he broke a lot of Ben’s records at Miami OH
    OLB’s Quentin Groves Texans, John Simon Purple Browns(wanted us to draft him last year, prototype Steeler pass rusher, who cares if he can anything else….especially if we switch to 4-3 then he goes back to DE)
    CB unfortunately nothing jumps out there
    OT Will Svitek Bungles, Reid Fragel Brown Stains(a former TE who kept growing) Eric Winston Seattle
    TE Erik Swoope the next former basketball player turned TE, I also liked Waters who we cut, he looked pretty good the couple days I made it to Latrobe, the new breed oversized wr type TE with huge hands and good body control was hoping he would have made our PS
    WR Vincent Brown SD, looked awesome before a terrible knee injury, still young…Kris Durham Detroit tall with great hands, came on late after injuries hit the Lion wrs, more of a possession type wr

    other than those I like what we have this year….lots of younger, bigger, faster, hopefully hungrier players to give us the energize we need… I say 11-5 div champs, with a couple breaks our way, maybe another trophy for the case.


    Pretty sad when were excited about this guy. What’s really sad is if we cut Taylor and Gay and they would of cleared waivers.

  • Steel PAul

    Yes that would have been nice. But there are points along the way where teams have some opportunities to add to their roster.

    There are players who don’t make it for various reasons and often players can be found. A team with strong DBs like Seattle, for instance, only has so many spots.

    Alas, it looks as if this will be the group.

    *I was starting to write a prediction about drafting a CB or two early next year, but I’m pretty sure I said that early last year too. So..