One of the toughest parts about coaching has nothing to do with preparing a player to play. It's recognizing the right time to put a player on the field.
Sometimes coaches hit home runs with that decision. Sometimes they strike out.
"I think that our coaching staff has tried to utilize our personnel to the best of their ability right now." coach Tony Sparano said Monday. "We’ve tried to put the right guys in the right spots so to speak. Every once-in-a-while you miss. That’s not good, if you miss, you have to re-evaluate it and you have to try to make it right. So that’s what we’re doing.”
I hope they are doing it with Cameron Wake.
Because, with all due respect to the Dolphins staff, all I know is when Wake gets the opportunity to rush the passer, he gets to the passer. A lot.
Wake has three sacks this year. That's third on the team. But he's up there with the leaders despite getting about 60-70 percent fewer snaps than those other sack leaders.
In other words, when Wake is in the game to rush the QB, he is more efficient in getting results than the other guys. On Sunday against the Patriots, Wake played in 11 plays, according to Sparano. He had one sack and one pressure.
Compare that to other rushers that got at least twice as many and perhaps almost three times as many pass-rush opportunities and netted zero sacks, and you wonder why not give Wake more chances?
The Dolphins have been trying to improve Wake's run defense. He has other issues Sparano says need to be "cleaned up." But are those issues so troubling that they would keep one of the more efficient pass rushers on the team off the field when the team needs to pressure the QB?
I know Joey Porter and Jason Taylor are still better all-around players than Wake. They are more complete at this stage. But Wake is becoming more efficient as a pass rusher than Porter, certainly.
Give him more chances to make plays doing the thing he does best -- rushing the quarterback.
More chances might just equal more sacks. And wouldn't that be good?