New Dolphins outside linebacker Cameron Wake just took part in a conference call with a handful of American and Canadian reporters.
During the call Wake addressed what seems to be the biggest question about his weekend signing with the Dolphins after a stellar career with the British Columbia Lions: Can he match what he did in the CFL in the NFL, particularly after not getting drafted in 2005, then washing out with the New York Giants and not playing in 2006?
"I know I can play," Wake said. "And I know what I can do. Every time I step on the field I wanted to show people that I belong and that I can play and produce. That's the mentality I took to the CFL and that's the mentality I'm going with to the NFL."
Wake was out of football entirely in 2006. He has worked as a mortgage broker.
"Definitely wasn't something I appreciated," he said of his time away from football. "Not being in football, I was sitting at home on the couch watching people I played with and played against all my life. I know what it's not like to not play. I know what it's like to be at home hoping and wishing I could play. It's something I can carry with me the rest of my life."
Wake suffered an MCL tear in 2001 but that clearly wasn't the reason he was not drafted in 2005. It also wasn't the 4.49 time in the 40-yard dash Wake said he ran at his pro day. So why wasn't Wake drafted?
"That's the first question I asked," Wake said. "I had no idea. I know I wasn't a dominator or crazy All-American in college. But I tested with any of the names at linebacker and at defensive end at the combine and during workouts. So I don't know. That's a good question."
Wake played defensive end for the BC Lions and led the CFL in sacks both his seasons there. But he says he's already been told he's going to be used as an outside linebacker in Miami. He said he weighs between 250 and 260 now.
Wake said between four and five NFL teams showed serious interest in signing him immediately after the CFL season was over. So why Miami?
"I wanted to eliminate all the fluff," Wake said. "It wasn't about whoever offered the biggest deal. It was about the coaching staffs, the opportunity, the organizations. Miami put themselves above the others in those things even if it wasn't by much."
Having said all this, I would caution all of you to appreciate the signing but not go overboard. The fact this is good but not great contract as it would relate to proven free agents should tell you how the Dolphins view it.
The team is hopeful Wake comes as advertised. If he does, I would say Charlie Anderson should be worried. But to suggest this signing makes Matt Roth obsolete is wrong. Roth will come to camp and compete as will Wake.
And the better player will play.