Wake Coming On

LB Cameron Wake

Blossoming pass rusher Cameron Wake is ready for a bigger role. Whether Coach Tony Sparano has limited Wake's snaps because of his shortcomings as a run stopper or as a sign of respect to future Hall of Fame pass rushers Jason Taylor and Joey Porter is not fully known. What is certain is that nearly every time Wake has been given opportunities, he has made an impact.

Last week Wake, while in the lineup for Taylor, bull-rushed Patriots right tackle Nick Kaczur and grabbed Tom Brady's legs with his long right arm. As Wake was dragging Brady to the ground the Pro Bowl quarterback panicked and fired a pass right at Dolphins middle linebacker Channing Crowder, who snared the first interception of his five-year career to secure Miami's 22-21 victory.

Wake, lured from the British Columbia Lions with a four-year deal worth up to $4.9 million, dominated the CFL the past two seasons with a combined 39 sacks, eight forced fumbles and two blocked field goals to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors in both seasons.

Despite being inactive the first two games of the season and only being spotted in 10 games, Wake has several pressures, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Taylor is nursing a sore shoulder and Porter has missed practice all week due to a knee injury. Sunday could be the perfect time to unleash Wake on the Jaguars' offensive line, which has given up 34 sacks, fourth highest per pass play in the NFL, including four sacks of quarterback David Garrard last week against Houston.

Taylor has six sacks but only one-half sack over the past six games. Porter has a team-leading seven sacks, with 4.5 coming in two recent games against Buffalo and Carolina.

Wake is better with his hand in the dirt as a lineman, but the 3-4 defense calls for their outside linebackers to stand up and drop back in pass coverage at times.

"Cameron is getting better, he really is. There are some things fundamentally he has to do a little bit better job of at times. I have to do a better job of getting him out there," Sparano said. "I love what he is doing. I am encouraged. I have blocked those (type) of guys for a long time and I think he has some of these qualities that make for really special pass rushers.

"You have to be able to handle the run. You have to be able to handle the tight ends. You got to be able to do those type of things, too. Those are all the other things that come with his job description. He has factored in these games and will continue to do that."

Earlier this week Sparano explained how tough it is to have all three players in the game at once. That doesn't include defensive end/tackle Randy Starks, who has a career-high six sacks and has been the Dolphins most consistent defender all season.

"He's growing a little bit watching these two guys right now, Joey and Jason and this guy, I think he's starting to get it and he's going to be pretty good," Sparano said.

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio knows that the Dolphins will look to attack Garrard, a problem area for Jacksonville all season.

"I think that's the one thing that's held us back a little bit form doing better as a football team," Del Rio said. "We've got to be able to protect our guy better; he's getting hit too much. I know the Dolphins are pretty good at getting after the quarterback, and that's a concern for us this week."

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