It’s hard to root against Cameron Wake as he’s one of the classiest players in the NFL, who never takes a day off during the week nor a play off during the game. Although he is starting to get older, his fire and desire has never been stronger and he plans to play at a high level for years to come.
“That’s something that was established way back before I stepped foot on an NFL field. I have a high expectation and a high standard that I hold myself up to probably higher than any other coach, any other player or fan. I feel like with my abilities and the way I put my task at hand and attack my job, I feel like I can accomplish anything I can put my mind to. Every week it’s just another challenge I like to face and go after with everything I got. That way when you look in the mirror whether it is end of the play, end of the big game, end of your career, you can look in that mirror and say you did everything you possibly can and I eliminated that fear of dying with potential. That’s kind of the way I go at it.”
In his career with the Miami Dolphins, Wake has had a lot of success against the Patriots. He credits this to not only playing them twice every season but also because he has always been taught that he needs to rise up to the occasion in big games.
“I feel like every time we go out there, usually it’s a big game. The minute I started playing boy’s club basketball, my coach told me big players have to step up in big games and make big plays. Obviously, these are big games when we come to face each other. I look at myself as a big player, and I feel like whatever I can do to help the team out, whatever my role is, and occasionally it is getting to the quarterback. I try my best to get the job done.”
Wake, who came from the Canadian Football League, said that there are a lot of similarities between the CFL and the NFL. Primarily, the fundamentals and things you do on the field are the same no matter where you play the game.
“Covering a receiver is universal, they have to run a route, you have to stick on them, no matter what league it is. If you’re good at it, you’re good at it. The same thing goes for rushing the passer, doesn’t matter what league it is, there is a tackle in your way, you have to get to the quarterback. Pass rush moves from college to pro, to CFL, whatever. That’s something that I definitely had to work on day in and day out, getting to the quarterback.”
Wake did say that the CFL makes it more difficult for the defense because you’re a yard off the ball. In the NFL, you can crowd all the way up to the ball, as close as you can possibly be. However, he said that has helped him transition well to the NFL.
“That get-off was something was of utmost importance, closing that distance and obviously they played three down football and we play four down football. So you don’t have as many opportunities. You have to make the most of those two downs that you have, really, to get after the quarterback before they punt the ball or score, whatever it may be. You have to let your on hair fire and get after it, again, the larger field, sideline to sideline, it’s a different sideline to sideline than it is down here. A lot of the things that you had to deal with, contend with, turn you into a better football player for your future when you get down to the NFL.”
Wake said that he prefers lining up at the defensive left end spot is all because of Jason Taylor, but not for the reasons you may expect.
“He liked the right so he kicked me out. He was like, ‘You can’t rush over here, you’ve got to go to the left. Hey rookie, this is my side, that’s real simple.’”
Wake has certainly done quite well for himself at the left end spot but also can wreak just as much havoc on the right side when placed there. Wake is an animal and he has never taken his time in the NFL for granted. Hopefully he, along with the others, can step up on Sunday and get the win that they all desperately need.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs