Watching Wake

With the Dolphins switching to more of a 4-3 look on defense under new coordinator Kevin Coyle, it means some adjustments for certain players. One of those is Cameron Wake, who will go for the most part from outside linebacker to defensive end. But how big of an adjustment are we talking about for Wake?

The answer is not much at all.

In fact, the adjustment for Wake was learning to play outside linebacker in the NFL. Where he really emerged as a pass-rushing threat as a professional player was at defensive end.

Remember, Wake had 39 sacks in two seasons with the British Columbia Lions as a defensive end, not a linebacker.

Just check out what longtime Lions coach/GM Wally Buono told me about Wake in terms of his switch back to defensive end.

"Cam is better when he plays with his hand on the ground," said Buono, who gave up his duties as coach after winning the Grey Cup last November. "His natural skills are at DE, both as a pass rusher and run defender. I believe his natural instincts as a football player and his space reactions are suited as a DE. As a LB, his instincts, visions and reactions are not developed."

Mind you, Wake managed pretty well nonetheless as an outside linebacker for the Dolphins, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2010 when he led the team with 14 sacks.

But there was a learning period for Wake from the time he joined the Dolphins in 2009. He's back in much more familiar territory at defensive end, and from that end the switch to a 4-3 look should only benefit him.

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