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Six hits on quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Three sacks. Eight quarterback pressures. One forced holding penalty.
Second-year Miami linebacker Cameron Wake is a bull.
He put on a dominant performance on Sunday in Green Bay. Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga must be seeing the shadow of No. 91 in his sleep. Wake abused the rookie tackle over and over again.
His combination of power and relentlessness was simply too much for the rook to handle. The fact they only helped Bulaga twice with a double team was terrible strategy on Green Bay’s end. Wake was a game-changer on Sunday.
He leads the Dolphins with six sacks through five games, which places him tied for fourth in the NFL. He is also tied for the league lead in quarterback hits with 13.
Although Wake is listed as a linebacker, he often lines up at defensive end in obvious passing situations. Most linemen have over 60 pounds on Wake (250 pounds). One of the reasons he is so good at getting pressure on the quarterback is he rarely loses leverage.
He combats the differential in weight by maintaining a low stance (sometimes with both hands on the ground) and then explodes off the line. He’s so powerful upon impact that he forces lineman back on their heels. At this point he has won the leverage battle and can disengage en route to the quarterback.
The reason for lining up with both hands on the ground is it allows him to come out of his stance as low as possible. When you see him lined up this way it’s almost always a bull rush right at the lineman’s chest.
On Sunday, Bulaga didn’t have a prayer against him because he went at him in a high stance. For that, Wake made him pay.
Wake also utilizes a speed rush effectively. With this technique, he explodes off the edge to the outside shoulder of the lineman.
The reason Wake is so hard to contain is because he is both fast and powerful. He can come at you in a variety of ways, and the only way to halt his production is to double-team him, something the Packers only did twice.
The next victim on Wake’s platter is Steelers veteran right tackle Flozell Adams. Although he used to be a star, the 35-year-old’s best years are in the past. With Adams weighing in at nearly 340 pounds, Wake’s best weapon next week will be his speed rush.
I will be shocked if they don’t give their tackle some help with tight end Heath Miller or running back Rashard Mendenhall.
Wake is at a point where he will garner more double teams unless opposing coaches are okay with their quarterback getting crunched continuously. He is by far the top pass rushing threat on Miami’s roster. Although double teams might lead to a drop in his personal numbers, it will free up other guys to make plays.
Wake has arrived and is going to be a force in this league for a very long time.