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Ndamukong Suh: Cameron Wake’s ‘Superman'

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Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake is looking to get his groove back. Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh does not think he ever lost it.

NFL: Miami Dolphins-Minicamp Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins held their first of three days of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, getting back on the practice field for one of the last times before a month long break leading into training camp. Leading up to the day’s practice, a lot of the focus has been on safety Reshad Jones, who is holding out from all offseason workouts this year in hopes of leveraging a new contract out of the Dolphins. Tuesday was not just about Jones, however, as defensive end Cameron Wake took the next step in returning to the team after an Achilles tear ended his 2015 season early.

Wake has done some work in the previous three weeks of Organized Team Activities, but the team has also been very deliberate in what they allow him to do, with the focus on making sure he is ready when training camp opens at the end of July. Tuesday, Wake, who plans to take part in every drill during the minicamp, was on the field for both the team and individual portion of Tuesday’s practice. Afterwards, he was introduced for his press conference by defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh. Asked about the introduction from Suh, Wake replied, “You’ve got to ask him about that. He’s a funny guy.”

Of course, the conversation between the media and Wake did not take long to return to business, as he was then asked how he felt during the practice, “It was great. It was just like old times.”

Those old times have seen Wake total 257 tackles in his career, along with 70 sacks, 13 passes defensed, 16 forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Prior to his injury last year, Wake had recorded seven sacks. He played seven games in 2015, but did not record a sack until Week 5, when he broke out against the Tennessee Titans with four sacks. He then added two sacks the next week against the Houston Texans and had one sack against the New England Patriots before leaving the game with the injury. “Bringing up old stuff, are we?” Wake replied when asked about that three game stretch and what was working so well. “I would like to think that’s just me. That’s another thing I want to make sure I continue to do and get back to where that’s not a surprise or out of the ordinary, that’s just who I am.”

When Wake was asked about his mindset throughout the rehab work, he was interrupted by Suh, who said, “Can I answer that question? He’s Superman.”

Wake added, "I like that. I like that answer. But there’s never been any doubt. I don’t have to reiterate my story; but I’ve had hurdles, roadblocks, obstacles, from the minute I started playing football. Add this to the list.”

He continued, “When I got released from the Giants, I’d never been released. When I got to the CFL, I’d never be to the CFL. When I got to the Dolphins, I’d never been inactive. Like I said, add another one to the list, another obstacle to overcome. I’ve been doing it my whole career and I wouldn’t expect this to be any different.”

Wake, a four-time Pro Bowl selection and one time First-Team All-Pro selection, spoke about the team’s new head coach Adam Gase, who moves to the team after a year as the Chicago Bears’ offensive coordinator. “A little youth,” Wake said of what Gase brings to the team. “He’s a fun guy, but a guy who knows when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. And that’s something I think a lot of guys can appreciate. We get out there, it’s going to be go time. But we also have the opportunity to kick back and relax and have a little fun, as well.”

“It seems like things have been going well for him,” Gase said of Wake’s rehab progress. “We keep trying to give him more and more reps.

Wake’s work ethic has never been questioned, and he showed it throughout his rehab work, tweeting pictures and videos as he made steps throughout the offseason. He also used that work ethic to help the team last year in any way possible. “I wasn’t away for very long,” Wake explained about how hard it was for him to miss the second half of the season. “I had one game where I had to sit and watch. That might have been the hardest part. This was obviously a while ago; but after that, I was around as much as possible and helping in any way I could. It all kind of seems like a long time ago now. I’m focusing on the here and now and what’s going on in this minicamp.”

“Just getting back in the groove every year,” Wake continued, turning to the importance of minicamp. “You got a quote unquote long offseason – maybe not for me this year; it was different. But just going out there and getting back into the scheme of things. Obviously we’ve got a new everything. We’ve got new coaches, new players, and just getting back and being consistent and getting familiar with everybody and them getting familiar with you. I think this is a good start to that.”

Wake will continue to work on getting back in the groove the rest of this week. Wednesday's and Thursday’s practices will both be open to the media, giving us another chance to see how Wake is progressing. The Dolphins will open their full training camp in late July.