CA­REER RE­VIVAL

Out­side linebacker Cameron Wake, who didn’t cut it in his first stint in the NFL, is set­tling in nicely in Mi­ami

Los Angeles Times - - Nfl Week 3 - — Sam Farmer

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.

THRIV­ING:

Eric Miller

Linebacker Cameron Wake is mak­ing the most of a sec­ond NFL op­por­tu­nity, help­ing the Mi­ami Dol­phins to a 2-0 start.

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