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Blake settling in with Steelers

Posted Sep 5, 2013

Special teams will be a key for Blake.

After the Jacksonville Jaguars final 53-man roster was set on Saturday, Antwon Blake had a spot on it. He never expected within 24 hours that would all change.

The Jaguars claimed seven players off waivers on Sunday, and to make room, Blake was among those let go.

“I initially made the 53-man roster so I wasn’t expecting any moves,” said Blake, a second-year cornerback. “It’s real tough. I probably didn’t go to sleep until about three in the morning. I couldn’t go to sleep no matter how many times I laid down. I guess it’s just your body telling you there are important things going on and it’s going to happen for you. Sunday was pretty tough.”

Blake’s emotions were all over the place, just like they are for all players when they are released. There is uncertainty, doubt and concern. But there is also hope, confidence and the understanding there are other opportunities out there.

“One thing I have learned in my first year is never get too high or too low,” said Blake. “I was preparing myself to get ready for practice. I went back to the drawing board and was preparing for my new destination.

“In this business you can’t get too comfortable, can’t get too settled. When I was released it was time to move on and continue my career where I was needed or wanted.”

It didn’t take long to find out where that would be. The Steelers claimed him off waivers on Monday and the wheels were set in motion.

“As soon as I got the call I started packing my things,” said Blake. “There were a lot of emotions going through me at that time. There was a lot of excitement. I instantly got anxious and ready to get to Pittsburgh and get to work.”

Blake, who led the Jaguars with 12 special teams tackles last season, knows that is going to be his bread and butter from the get-go with the Steelers.

“I have been told I have a knack for special teams and that is my niche in my career,” he said. “I can play any special teams position, except kicker and punter. I take special teams as another defensive snap for me. I am going to go out and compete and play hard and make plays for this team.”

Blake got a crash course on the Steelers' offense, and was thrown right into the mix on the practice field.

“It’s like the first day of school all over again,” said Blake. “It’s about getting to work. I don’t need to be heard, I just need to be seen as far as my work ethic and what I can bring to this team on the field. When you work hard, everything else comes with it.”

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