Cameron Wake getting back to CFL roots as a DE


Pass-rushers are pass-rushers, regardless of alignment.

But just as Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are making an adjustment from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in Indianapolis, Cameron Wake’s making his own switch.

Unlike his Colts counterparts, Wake’s switching from outside linebacker in a 3-4 to playing defensive end in the Dolphins’ 4-3.

He downplayed the move to Brian Biggane of the Palm Beach Post, saying he had his hand in the dirt about 60 percent of his snaps last year anyway.

“I was in that position where you’re coming off the edge, you’re facing a tackle a lot of the time,” Wake said. “So maybe (I’ve put on) a little more weight, worked on a little different technique, but overall it’s the same things.”

Wake played as an end in Canada, when he was the defensive player of the year in the CFL in 2007 and 2008.

“It’s a little different, game-wise, and with the players, but at the end of the day you have to get to the ball,” Wake said. “In the CFL that toss is way out (to the sideline), so you’ve got to get on your horse and go make the play, same as here.

“Maybe it’s a little difficult coming from an inside gap [at linebacker] versus setting the edge [at end], but I feel like I have the tools: I’m strong, powerful, quick, athletic.”

He’s also 12 pounds bigger, as he prepares for more hand-to-hand combat with 300-pound tackles this year. Wake’s developing in other ways as well. He went from 14 sacks in 2010 to 8.5 last year, but his coaches say he was a better all-around player.

“He [forced] 13 holding penalties, and those are bigger than sacks,” line coach Kacy Rodgers said. “When you take them back 10 yards, that’s just like a sack. Those are huge. And we had other people [benefit]; when Cam’s numbers went down, other people’s went up, because Cam was getting so much attention. That’s invaluable.”

As with Freeney and Mathis, there’s still going to be a period of adjustment, and the fate of their defenses depend on their best players making it.

9 responses to “Cameron Wake getting back to CFL roots as a DE

  1. “He [forced] 13 holding penalties, and those are bigger than sacks,”
    Not really. They are very beneficial, no doubt, but the offense essentially gets a “do-over” from 10 yards deeper. A sack causes is essentially a yardage loss with a loss of a down. I would take a sack over a 10 yard holding penalty for any situation outside of FG range.

    Wake is a very good player. He could get some huge numbers again if the other side steps up. He is constantly double-teamed and held but he still has a big impact. Regardless, the front 7 of this team can cause some fits. If they figure out how to cover the TE and Smith learns to catch, this defense is formidable.

  2. He [forced] 13 holding penalties, and those are bigger than sacks,” line coach Kacy Rodgers said. Except for the fact they get to replay the down. I don’t Mr. Rodgers but that seems quite worse then a sack to me………….

  3. Forcing holding penalties is big, but it’s definitely not “bigger than a sack.” Last I checked, there’s no loss of down with a holding call.

  4. All comments have said the same thing about not losing a down which is true and I agree… but sacks also fire up a time. Which are “invaluable” to a defense.

    … And could brake Brady’s ankle which would be good for any opposing team.

  5. I think it was something like 11 of his 14.5 sack year could be attributed to the time he spent working from the End. He’s a good OLB, but he’s a great DE, this move is absolutely beneficial for Wake and the Dolphins.

  6. I think holding penalties can also provide a psychological edge on that said offensive lineman – you can start yapping that the only way they can stop you is to cheat……..may make them a little yippy at the snap too…….could have more effects then just the 10 yards and replaying the down.
    And 1st and 20 is a heck of a lot different than 1st and 10.

    Not as advantageous as a sack, but definitely can give some good benefits…….

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