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Cameron Wake’s coming back, but not as a Dolphins starter

Cameron Wake AP

Cameron Wake’s comeback from last year’s torn Achilles is coming along fine, but he’s not going to be a starter this year.

That’s not a reflection of the long-term pass-rusher’s ability, but the fact the Dolphins want to maximize it.

Via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Dolphins defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said he planned to have veteran Jason Jones start at end in their base defense, allowing Wake to concentrate his efforts on passing downs.

Wake has started the past 54 regular-season games he’s played for the Dolphins, but that streak apparently ends this week against the Seahawks.

“In our first- and second-down package, which is obviously more run and mixed play-action pass, Jason Jones will be the starting end along with Mario Williams,” Joseph said. “Cam will be used some on first and second down but mostly in pass-rush situations.”

That’s a reasonable expectation for the 34-year-old Wake, but Joseph was the first to say it out loud. But he was also careful to add that it wasn’t their way of saying Wake wasn’t capable.

“I think if we chose to, he could be a starter on every down,” Joseph said. “But I think, just keeping him healthy and allowing him to be a dominant pass rusher — taking some downs off of him — makes us better and allows him to be fresher for 16 weeks. . . . So Cameron, not playing a lot of first- and second-down reps, when the game is on the line, he can finish it for us.”

The Dolphins extended Wake’s contract this offseason, and by managing his snap counts now, hope to extend his shelf life as a dominant pass-rusher after he had 7.0 sacks in seven games before the injury last year.

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10 Responses to “Cameron Wake’s coming back, but not as a Dolphins starter”
  1. irkjames says: Sep 7, 2016 8:43 AM

    Jason Jones is a much better run-stopper anyway. This isn’t a bad thing. Wish we had this kind of mindful coaching staff before we broke Jake Long.

  2. jag1959 says: Sep 7, 2016 8:48 AM

    “…allowing Wake to concentrate his efforts on passing downs.”

    For most teams in today’s NFL they are all passing downs.

  3. eazeback says: Sep 7, 2016 8:57 AM

    they’ll all 3 be on the field in some situations im sure

  4. ncphinsfan says: Sep 7, 2016 9:18 AM

    Wise move to use him sparingly at the beginning of the season. I hope he stays OK. Very few players are workout monsters like this guy. Not many could bounce back after an injury like his and even be effective. He had limited snaps during PreSeason, but I saw him in Drills live at Camp and he looked fast and powerful, as usual. Good Luck to him. The Dolphins are going to need him.

  5. hatersgonnahatehate says: Sep 7, 2016 10:06 AM

    Smart. Dude is scary good, and with fresh legs he will be a serious threat to any O line

  6. pioniere says: Sep 7, 2016 10:56 AM

    Mario Williams will be taking plenty of plays off too.

  7. minson15 says: Sep 7, 2016 11:21 AM

    This will work for the opener against Seattle who constantly wants to run the ball. But once he faces a team that passes 75% of the time and throws in a run to keep the defense honest, this will move him back to basically being a starter.

  8. fishyinalittledishy says: Sep 7, 2016 2:29 PM

    It’s the 3rd and longs he will come in for. That’s if we can get teams into those situations.

  9. djscottyb says: Sep 7, 2016 7:43 PM

    Dolphins fans have heard this ever since Cam was resigned.
    Smart move by Gase and his staff.
    And Cameron himself.

    Too many players get caught up in streaks or being the “starter”.
    Glad to see that Wake sees the big picture regarding health, productivity and continuing his career.

  10. bsizemore68 says: Sep 7, 2016 11:56 PM

    Non one can tell me that Miami don’t have better coachers now then under Joe. Bill

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