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3 posts from December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012

What Cameron Wake says about going to the Pro Bowl

Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake has been selected as a starter to the 2013 AFC Pro Bowl squad. The annual contest matching the AFC and NFC will be played on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

No other Dolphins player was named a starter or backup.

So what does Wake think about being names?


(On how satisfying it is to be voted to the Pro Bowl for a second time) –“It’s truly amazing, truly an honor and I’m really blessed to be here in Miami, be surrounded by the kind of guys, the type of team, especially on this defense. (We have a) band of brothers and it kind of feels like an honor I’m accepting on behalf of a lot of other guys because I think they’re a lot of other guys who are obviously deserving. Obviously, I wouldn’t be here in this situation if it wasn’t for a lot of the plays they made throughout the season."

(On if there was much doubt in his mind that he would make the Pro Bowl) – “Well, I’m definitely one of those guys that I don’t count my chickens until they hatch. Growing up, I didn’t have chickens at home. It’s one of those things in the back of your mind you hope for. Throughout this season, I’ve kind of been concentrating on making sure week-in and week-out we get the job done. Those numbers and those kind of things kind of just take care of itself."

(On taking a teammate to the Pro Bowl two years ago when he made it and if there is anyone this year that will be going along with him) – “Well, I’m definitely going to take anybody who’s willing to go. A lot like I said earlier, I have a lot of guys to thank to even be in the situation I’m in – Coach (Kevin) Coyle on down to (Defensive Line) Coach Kacy (Rodgers) and then the guys I play with, play next to every Sunday. So there’s a lot of tickets I’m probably going to have to look into because there’s a lot of guys who helped me get where I am.”

(On if it’s a fair assessment that some players are not enthusiastic about playing in the Pro Bowl, but that is not the case with him) – “Definitely… To be able to selected is an amazing honor, an amazing accomplishment. You guys know my story – it wasn’t a walk in the park. It wasn’t a smooth road for me. I took the back roads to get where I am. I had to fight for everything and then to get this honor and kind of turn it down is something that I would never do. Not only am I excited to be representing the Miami Dolphins, but the icing on the cake was the story that I’ve had and, if you believe in yourself and you can fight and scratch and claw for dreams, anything can happen. I think that all kind of sums it up."

(On whether he would like to see the Pro Bowl continued) – “Of course, 100%. I’m 100% for it. I know there are a lot of guys who think about it that’s that part of their goals at the start of the season, and I just try to be one of those guys. It’s a total honor to be selected by the coaches and your fellow players, guys that you play against. So guys are saying, ‘you know what, I have a lot of respect for the way this guy plays the game.’ Obviously, this is someone who you’ve been trying to kill, and who has been trying to kill you all game, but at the end day, you should able to say, ‘you’re a heck of a competitor and I respect the way you play.’ Coaches are the same way. I think that’s something that you really can’t get anywhere else, and I’m all for keeping the game to honor and reward guys who go out there and do it the right way all season.”

(On the Arizona game where he had 4.5 sacks after not having a sack through the first three games) – “It’s always interesting, I mean I think back to that little stint and the fact is there is nothing more glorious and more glamorous than the sack in the pass rushing business, and I think it was something that you guys probably paid more attention to than I did. I went out there every play and gave it my all, and that’s the way pass rushing is. If you think about it, a great season is 15, 12 , 20 sacks or whatever it may be, but you think about how many times you don’t get there, how many times you’re not necessarily making a play. As a pass rusher you have to go out every time with that mentality that you’re going to make the play. It’s one of those situations if you’re getting the pressure, getting the hit, you’re getting the hurry or whatever it may be, people don’t talk about those as much, but at the end of the day it’s part of your job. I go out there and I don’t look at the stats or try to figure out how many tackles I have. I don’t care about any of that stuff. I just go out and say this play, I’m going to bring my best on this play and when it’s over I’m going to move on and do the same thing the next time."

(On how he feels about being among Dolphins’ greats like Bill Stanfill and Jason Taylor in terms of making multiple Pro Bowls as a defensive end) – “You’re the first to tell me about that. I didn’t even realize that, but I mean it’s one of the things that I guess for later on with the grand kids or whatever it may be down the line to say, ‘you know what, this is what I was,’ but I don’t even want to think about those things right now. I just go out there like I said, and to even be mentioned in the same company with those guys, obviously I know Jason Taylor pretty well playing with the guy, he’s an amazing player and an amazing person, and like I said just being in that situation and being able to play the game that I love and to be able to even step on the field. If you think about it, three or four years ago whoever thought I’d be sitting where I am now. In 2006 I was sitting on the couch watching the games, so to go from there to here is really an amazing feeling.”

Pats have something to play for, Philbin wants to make sure Dolphins do also

Some Dolfans that had a wide view of the season-finale against New England figured the Dolphins might be playing for a playoff spot while the Patriots wouldn't really have much to play for as they had already qualified for the playoffs and perhaps a rest for the postseason beckoned.

Well, it turns out the Patriots have a lot more to play for than Miami. So forget the idea of Tom Brady taking the day off or the Patriots laying down against Miami.

Indeed, with the Dolphins season all but over, it is Miami coach Joe Philbin that is concerned about his players not going to the game with the same attention span and intensity that they normally carry. And he made that point to the team at their meeting today.

"Obviously it's a concern," Philbin said today. "When I signed on to coach the 2012 Miami Dolphins, I knew there were 16 regular season games to be coached. I have the same focus and our staff has the same focus and same sense of urgency we had when we opened the season in Houston. There shouldn't be guys talking about what I'm doing New Year's Eve or I'm doing this, that and the other thing. Because we know the task at hand is a large one. So absolutely it's a challenge."

Nope, Philbin doesn't want to see his players packing their golf clubs in the their trunks this week. And as for that happening in New England? Forget it.

The Patriots may be playing for a first-round bye if they win and get help elsewhere.

"I'm sure we’ll all be aware of that, yeah. No question," quarterback Tom Brady said. "But I don’t think that changes what our goal is for the weekend. I think we’re trying to win this game regardless. It could be different if some other teams win, but that’s really out of our control. We’re just going to go out and try to win.

And why is winning so important regardless of whether it means a first-round bye or not?

"We’re trying to build some confidence this week in what we’re doing, go out and have good practices, and go out and see if we can execute better than we have been," Brady said.

"I'm sure we’ll all be aware of that, yeah. No question. But I don’t think that changes what our goal is for the weekend. I think we’re trying to win this game regardless. It could be different if some other teams win, but that’s really out of our control. We’re just going to go out and try to win.

Pro Bowl announced today: Dolphins candidates

The Pro Bowl rosters for the AFC and NFC will be announced at 7 p.m. The Dolphins are bound to get some love from voters despite their 7-8 record.

So which players are viable Pro Bowl candidates?

Cameron Wake is a practical shoe-in. The defensive end is fourth in the NFL and third in the AFC (behind J.J. Watt and Von Miller) with 15 sacks this season.

Wake is the most explosive 4-3 defensive end in football right now. So he is going to get his props, I am assuming.

The field beyond Wake looks a little thin.

Punter Brandon Field leads the AFC with a 50.3 average per punt. His net average of 41.1 is fifth in the AFC so he has worthy and strong challengers in front of him.

Running back Reggie Bush?

I doubt it. He has 960 yards and that's good, but that's only ninth-best in the  AFC. And it's not as if Bush has any statistic, such as 20-yard runs or touchdowns, where he is atop the pack. Nope, don't see Bush getting the nod.

Wide receiver Brian Hartline is 15th in the NFL and sixth in the AFC with 1,014 yards. He has an outside, outside chance because his 14.7 yards per catch is second among AFC leaders, behind only Demaryius Thomas of Denver, who has a 15.0 average.

Mike Pouncey will get some votes but it'll be interesting because his brother Markice Pouncey siphons off a good number.

Reshad Jones will get some votes but I'm afraid his excellent game Sunday -- two fumble recoveries and an interception -- came days too late because players and coaches around the league concluded their voting on Thursday and Friday.

Middle linebacker Karlos Dansby leads the Dolphins with 121 tackles, but that's only 13th best in the NFL and sixth best in the AFC. Plus Dansby doesn't have too many highlight-type plays. The fact Ray Lewis missed most of the season will help Dansby.

So what does this all tell you?

Well, when Miami's top playmakers aren't even in the conversation of top playmakers around the league or conference it says Miami needs more and better playmakers.

Not a surprise to anyone.