Outside linebacker Cameron Wake, who didn’t cut it in his first stint in the NFL, is settling in nicely in Miami
Cameron Wake might know the short way to the quarterback, but the Miami Dolphins outside linebacker sure took the long way to the NFL.
Wake, whose sack-strip of Brett Favre last Sunday led to an instant Dolphins touchdown, took one of the more roundabout routes imaginable to get where he is today. Strong play from Wake on Sunday night will be key to contain the visiting New York Jets and quarterback Mark Sanchez.
“When a guy can beat you with both his legs and his arm, it puts more stress on your defense,” Wake told the Palm Beach Post last week, referring to Sanchez, the former USC quarterback.
Wake was a former Penn State linebacker and team captain — he then went by Derek Wake — who flamed out in his first NFL go-round, as a rookie free agent with the New York Giants.
Taking a break from football, he worked as a mortgage advisor at a bank, and as a personal trainer. He wound up in the Canadian Football League a couple years later as a defensive end for the B.C. Lions and made an immediate splash.
In 2007, Wake was the CFL’s rookie of the year and defensive player of the year — the first player to win both in the same year — and won the defensive honor again the next year.
That caused NFL teams to take another look and, in 2009, the Dolphins outbid Denver, Buffalo and Indianapolis for his services. Despite starting only one game last season, being deactivated for two, and playing almost exclusively on passing downs, Wake collected 51⁄ sacks, and made
2 the Dolphins comfortable enough to let go of Joey Porter and Jason Taylor.
Wake isn’t where his coaches want him to be quite yet. He’s got pass rushing down, but he still needs to learn the finer points of playing the run and dropping into coverage. For the most part, though, he has arrived. Finally.
Linebacker Cameron Wake is making the most of a second NFL opportunity, helping the Miami Dolphins to a 2-0 start.