With Joey Porter missing his second straight day of practice this week and third dating back to last Friday, the media is focused in on Cameron Wake now.
It is understandable because Wake is interesting, Wake is a fan favorite and Wake might the future. But listening to coach Tony Sparano and defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni talk today, I don't get the feeling Wake is going to see a ton more action that what we've been seeing of late.
Pasqualoni and even Jason Taylor mentioned the name Dwight Freeney when comparing Wake's body type and speed to the Pro Bowl Indianapolis player. But as Taylor noted, "I wasn't putting him in the company yet, I was just explaining the difference in body types."
Sparano: "My sense would be that when [Wake] is in the game, he factors at what he does. He played 10 plays a week ago, had two opportunities where he ran by the quarterback and hit the quarterback once. That was his 10 plays. Some of it been really good, some of it has been uneventful.
"Meaning (he) hasn’t had opportunities or even when he has been out there and had the opportunity, just didn’t have the opportunity. The ball is out fast or whatever the case is, any of those types of things. Doing a good job of what we are asking him to do right now and he is coming along as a linebacker.”
Sparano went on to explain that Wake is part of a certain defensive package and it isn't up to the defense to dictate when that package is used, but rather, it's up to the offense and the down and the distance. So until Wake graduates from that package, he likely isn't getting a whole lot more snaps than he currently is.
The Dolphins got good news today when Taylor (shoulder) returned to practice. Nathan Jones (hamstring) and Jake Grove (ankle) also practiced but only on a limited basis.
If you read this blog, you know that Taylor has been used differently of late than he was earlier this year. He is often coming out of games on nickel and dime situations, which is interesting because he's the NFL active career sack leader and Miami's career sack leader.
But Taylor had a tough month from late October to November as he didn't get a sack. Perhaps that had something to do with Miami's use of a OLB rotation. Maybe the fact none of Miami's other OLBs can defend against the run very well and Taylor can is the reason JT is in on early downs and has been sidelined on rush down.
I don't know. But this is clear. Even though he isn't complaining about not getting more chances to turn quarterbacks into ground beef, Taylor obviously would prefer to be in there on passing downs. That was clear when he was asked what he thinks of his play the last month.
“The last month of the season? I don’t know what our record is," JT said. "Me personally, it’s been different. It's been a little different. But I do what I’m called on to do -- plug me in where you need me, and I’ll do what I’m told.”
Finally, the Dolphins added cornerback Evan Oglesby to the roster. He fills the spot created by the placing of OL Lydon Murtha on the injured reserve list. Murtha was injured his ankle on the final play of Wednesday's practice, according to coach Tony Sparano.
The team didn't expect the issue to be a big deal until MRI results Thursday revealed a problem.