Matty I of The Phinsider took a question from me about an unheralded signing by Miami
In an under the radar move this offseason, the Dolphins signed two-time CFL sacks leader Cameron Wake. Do you think he will end up playing a substantial role for the Dolphins in 2009? How do you think he will adjust to a new position with new responsibilities standing up at rush linebacker? (From John B)
It was definitely an "under the radar move" in terms of how the national media dealt with it. But in Miami among Dolphin fans, I actually get the feeling at times that some people have too high of expectations for Wake. Yes, Wake tallied 39 sacks in two years in the CFL. But that’s against lesser competition and in a league where teams pass more often than in the NFL. So his numbers are going to be naturally inflated.
With that said, he obviously has some talent. How that transitions to the NFL game is anyone’s guess. Early indications from OTAs are that he is explosive and that he isn’t as raw as you would have thought in terms of dropping back into coverage when necessary. But the impact he has in year one with Miami will probably be minimal. I think he’ll take the field in passing situations to create headaches for offensive linemen who will have to account for Wake, Joey Porter, and Jason Taylor all on the field at once. But I also think that the return of Taylor to Miami will impact how much playing time Wake will actually receive.
The great thing is that you couldn’t ask for better mentors for a young pass-rusher learning the ropes as an outside linebacker than Porter and Taylor. That’s why I expect more from Wake as his NFL career progresses rather than in year one.
Unfortunately, I think the Dolphins have taken a very intelligent approach adding as many pass rushers as possible. Adding Wake and bringing back Taylor will make them very difficult to face on third and long situations. There is so much depth at outside linebacker that Wake will be able to develop at his own pace. They can ask Wake to pin back his ears and go after the quarterback in year one. If he refines his game quickly enough to give them more, it is a bonus.