Miami Dolphins

Here’s how the Dolphins plan to use Cameron Wake in 2017

Cameron Wake had double-digit sacks at age 34.
Cameron Wake had double-digit sacks at age 34. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The new plan for Cameron Wake is a lot like the old one — just with better execution, the Dolphins hope.

Wake, who turned 35 earlier this year, will remain a starter for the Dolphins, but the coaching staff hopes to have the bulk of his snaps be “the downs that are gonna matter,” Adam Gase said Thursday. “We’d like to have him in there more on pass-rush downs.”

That was the blueprint at the start of last year, too, but reality interceded.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake was awarded the Don Shula Leadership Award, and talks to the media about feeling like the underdog in his football career.

The Dolphins repeatedly got down big in the first half of games early in the season, allowing teams to run the ball and keep Wake on the sidelines.

That, combined with Mario Williams’ ineffectiveness setting the edge, convinced the Dolphins to make a change. Wake would play as much as he could (and still be effective), regardless of the down and distance.

It worked out well. Wake tallied a team-high 11.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl. He played so well, the Dolphins gave him a two-year, $19 million contract extension last month.

Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase speaks with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine.

However, the Dolphins hope to add enough in free agency and the draft to make that kind of workload unnecessary this time around.

“If we could actually get a lead, that would be nice to let him rush the passer,” Gase said. “We need to do some retooling on both sides of the ball to make sure that we’re giving our offense more plays and our defense less plays, and we actually need to play with a lead.”

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

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