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Cameron Wake: 'Work to do before we start crowning ourselves'

The Miami Dolphins defensive line this offseason made a leap to one of the most elite units in the NFL because, well, Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh joined Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake, ascending youngster Olivier Vernon, and solid veteran defensive tackle Earl Mitchell.

So yes, everyone is assuming this foursome can be fearsome in 2015.

But excuse Wake if he's not making that assumption.

"One side of my brain is jumping up and down like a little girl," Wake said Wednesday while discussing the Miami defensive line's prospects and other topics. "The other side is thinking all that is down the line. We have to get on the same page and make sure it happens that way.

"You know me, whatever can help us improve and be better overall, I'm all for," Wake added in discussing Suh. "He's going to help us, no doubt about that. But I don't count my chickens. Words don't mean anything. Big contracts don't mean anything. It's all about chemistry and trust and confidence we have in one another and the results we get on the field. When we know what's going on out there, then we can talk about what team has the best defensive line or what player is the best addition this offseason."

Wake had dinner with Suh after he signed and he's excited about the addition. But he has a message for fans or media already saying Miami's defensive line is great and habitually will be trouble for AFC East quarterbacks.

"We have a little work to do before we start crowning ourselves," Wake said.

Wake recognizes the Patriots won the Super Bowl, and the New York Jets got better this offseason, and the Buffalo Bills got better this offseason.

"For a long time, I've spoken about this [division] and how it's a bear -- which is a good word to use. We'll beat the Patriots, then Pats beat us, then we'll beat the Bills and Jets will beat us. Everybody is getting after everybody. It's always going to be a game in this division; it doesn't matter how good a team is or how bad a record it has.

"I didn't keep up with what happened in the offseason at first, but then I started looking at it and I think we've made some pretty strong moves, but you also see the other teams have signed former pro bowl players and improved as well.

"It's a strong, strong division. This season is going to be another one of those seasons where any game that is played within this division is going to be a hell of game."

It's good that Wake is looking ahead to 2015 because the finish to 2014, indeed the Dolphins finish the past two seasons, has disappointed him.

The Dolphins lost two of the final three games last season and lost their final two games in 2013. Two of those losses came against teams the Dolphins had beaten previously in the same season.

So why can't Miami finish strong ... in some games (such as Denver, Detroit and Green Bay last year) or in seasons (as in the past two)?

"If I had the answer to that question, my pay grade would be different," Wake said. "Whatever it is, not being able to pinpoint whether it happens in a game or a season or whatever, it is definitely frustrating," Wake said. "Very frustrating.

"You have the ability, you show you can do it for most of a game or a season and then you fall short. That is more frustrating to being completely out of it or not being able to compete. And then throughout the season it came down to one play or one missed tackle. To me it's always been my goal to improve upon what we've done. We have to improve on that."

Wake is 33 years old now. He is about to begin his seventh season in Miami. And that means he's feeling a good amount of urgency because he sees the window of opportunity closing eventually.

"Yeah, that would be an understatement," he said. "That feeling didn't start yesterday; it's something I felt my first few years of playing. The average NFL career is only three years and my life expectancy in the NFL is well beyond what the norm is.

"So I feel it."

The only way the Dolphins are going to be improve now that the meaty portion of free agency is over is through the draft or in an unexpected trade.

Wake is excited about the coming NFL draft and has been exchanging ideas with fans on his twitter handle (@Kold91) on the topic. He's doing this because he has teamed up with Publix and Procter and Gamble ahead of the draft to show how P&G products such as Tide, Downy and Charmin are the solution for all home needs. (If you want to participate check out the P&G Tackle Everything Sweepstakes).

For the Dolphins on-field needs, he is polling fans to see what position should be addressed at the 2015 NFL Draft.

So what does he want to see the Dolphins do in the draft?

"I'm one of those guys, to be honest, before the draft I don't pay too much attention what's going on," Wake said. "I don't count my chickens before they hatch. Whoever it is, they have to have that thing. They have to be able to jump in and make a splash, definitely work hard because we don't tolerate when a guy doesn't."