The father-son game of catch is a time-tested component of sports lore, but Jeff Blake, who played quarterback in the NFL for 13 seasons, got to experience a pretty special version of that when Auburn held its Pro Day on Tuesday. Blake, who made most of his bones with the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints but played for seven different NFL teams from 1992 through 2005, was one of two people throwing to receivers on the Auburn campus (receivers coach Dameyune Craig was the other), and one of the receivers was Blake's son, Emory.
"Well, I stay in shape; I train kids in Texas," Jeff Blake told AL.com. "I'm constantly doing footwork, mechanics, showing the kids that I train, and I'm still throwing it fairly, pretty much ... I've been throwing it to him for a very long time. Somebody had to get me ready for the season when I played, [and] he was my receiver during the offseason.""
Blake's son, who caught 127 passes for 1,994 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Tigers from 2009 through 2012, said that his dad did a lot better than he was letting on.
"Honestly, my dad throws probably the most perfect ball I've ever caught," Emory Blake said. "It's never too heavy. A lot of quarterbacks step in there and try to drill you, he's just trying to make it a catchable ball. That makes it easy for me as a receiver."
That's from a football standpoint. From an emotional standpoint, it was a dream come true for both men.
"It's something I always planned, sometimes you never know how the old man's going to hold up," Emory Blake said with a smile. "It was an easy decision for me -- he's always thrown the ball well."
Blake was not invited to the scouting combine, so this was his only shot besides game tape to impress NFL personnel before private workouts begin. Per NFL.com's Gil Brandt, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 and 4.62 seconds, grabbed a 36 1/2-inch vertical leap and a 10-foot-broad jump, ran the short shuttle in 4.42 seconds, and completed the three-cone drill in 7.01 seconds.
Currently NFLDraftScout.com's 44th-ranked receiver, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Blake will likely see an NFL field as a camp invite -- perhaps with the Carolina Panthers. In 2010, he was a favorite target of Cam Newton's, catching 32 passes for 526 yards and eight touchdowns.
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