The Miami Dolphins made two moves with their roster today and Cameron Wake talked about today’s practice.
The Dolphins signed wide-receiver Jordan Westerkamp a receiver out of Nebraska. The move comes on the heels of Isaiah Ford getting a second opinion on his injured knee. Ford may miss some time in camp and Westerkamp will get his feet wet at the NFL level for the first time. To make room for the wide-out the Dolphins released injured linebacker Lamin Barrow, a former 5th round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2014.
After a physical practice that saw Jay Ajayi leave the field with a potential concussion and a fight break out between at the goal line with both Kenyan Drake and Jordan Lucas involved, Cameron Wake took to the podium on what was supposed to be his day off. Wake declined the offer and took part in his first full contact practice. Adam Gase told media that Wake looks more like a 25-year-old but they still want to take it easy on him in camp.
Wake spoke about the injury to Ajayi and about the physical nature of the practices as well as about the announcement of former Miami Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert’s retirement. A player he only played against in practice for a couple of years but respects and admires.
The Dolphins have a scrimmage this coming weekend so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the week works out with the full contact practices.
Cameron Wake’s post practice press transcripts are courtesy of MiamiDolphins.com.
Monday, July 31, 2017
DE Cameron Wake
(I don’t know if you’ve heard but Jaguars T Branden Albert just announced his retirement. What is your reaction and the thoughts on the career he’s had?) – “Well, obviously I was privileged to spend a few years with the guy. (He’s a) tremendous football player (and an) even better man. One of the guys who we always go back and forth (with on the field). I think we looked up to one another as far as being in the game for as long as we have and going through the things we had to (in order) to stay at the top for as long as we could. For him to be able to be able to have the career that he had and also be able to bow out on his own terms, my hat is off to him and I wish him the best.”
(You’re a veteran that has been here since 2009. Does the grueling of training camp ever get to you?) – “It’s training camp. It’s part of the process for me. I actually look forward to it. I feel like if it wasn’t tough, if it wasn’t a grind, it wouldn’t be football. It’s part of being tired and still doing your job, part of it being 110 degrees, downpour rain, you’re a little sore, a little achy, a little on edge, that builds the character that’s going to take you through the whole season. That builds that team (chemistry) and that bond that you need. If it was easy, anybody would be doing it. I feel like if it wasn’t that way, it wouldn’t be the same.”
(RB Jay Ajayi went off the field during practice today. Is that something you guys think about when you’re on the field or is it just keep pushing forward with your job? Do you ever think of how that affects the team, how that affects the offense?) – “I’m sorry, I don’t even know what happened.”
(RB Jay Ajayi walked off the field with trainers.) – “I didn’t even notice. Unfortunately, we play a violent sport. I don’t know anything about what happened or whatever happened. I just saw him (a moment ago). I guess you all will figure out whether he’s nicked up or not. I have a cut here too if you guys want to… (laughter)”
(What’s the balance between going hard in practice and being smart?) – “It’s football. You play it in pads and there’s collisions and there’s violence, so I think for the most part, we found the violence. You’ve got to go. Can you play this game and not have injuries? I’ve never seen it done. You don’t want anybody to get hurt in practice, but at the same time, you’ve got to be ready, you’ve got to hit, you’ve got to tackle, you’ve got to run to the ball. There’s a lot of big men moving fast, so things are bound to happen. But again, hopefully he (Jay Ajayi) is fine and will be back tomorrow.”
(Can you judge defensive line progress before the regular season starts, with you guys specifically? Or is it all about what happens in the regular season?) – “I think it’s a little early, honestly. This is our first full padded day and we obviously enjoy that part of the game. For us, probably more so than a lot of other people. You’ve got to speak to the DBs about the way they play; but for me and the guys I play next to in the trenches, it’s hand-on-hand, collisions and combat every play. To do it in shorts and t-shirts, it’s kind of different. Obviously I like getting a little dirty with the fellas down in the dirt. Today was the first step, so to put a finger on where we are, it’s way too early. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
(Some athletes believe that you can be better two years after a significant leg injury than you were one year after a significant leg injury, because you have more explosion. Do you think that can apply to you?) – “Sure, why not. I like the way you think. I guess three years would probably be even better than two years. Coming off an injury and still building back and finding trust, and finding your feet under you so to speak, that’s all going to be part of it. I went through that last training camp trusting it, doing the move that you normally do with the forces and the pressures and the twisting that you had done before and knowing that it’s going to still be there and follow you through. I think it’s possible and that’s what I’m working on today, getting after it and getting back to not thinking about it at all. So far, so good.”
(Before I just brought it up, and I’m sorry for that, when was the last time you even thought about that Achilles injury?) – “It’s been a while. Occasionally we’ve had a couple guys with some nicks and reminiscing a little bit and kind of telling them my story as far as helping them through theirs. We’ve had a couple guys with some things. Aside from that, on the field, it’s been a while.”
(How do you feel about the veteran day off? Where do you stand on that?) – “I’ve got the angel and the devil yelling in my ear on both sides. I’m not a proponent of taking it, but that’s very short-sighted and fairly shallow thinking. Again, this is a marathon not a sprint, and you’ve got to understand and look at the big picture. So far, the guys in the training room, the sports science guys, and (Head) Coach (Adam) Gase have all gotten together and figured out a plan and it’s worked from last season going into now. If you’re a guy who’s earned it and you’re smart about taking care of your body, whether it’s getting some rehab, cold tub, or some extra running or lifting weights, whatever it is you have to do, you know your body being a veteran. Getting back and getting fresh, those guys that have earned it, I think it could definitely help out.”
(I believe you’re going to Canton on Saturday to see the Jason Taylor Hall of Fame ceremony, is that right?) – “That’s what I’ve heard.”
(Have you been to Canton before and does that inspire you more to see your own bust in there one day?)– “You’re going to go there, huh? (laughter) No, I’ve been there. We played the Hall of Fame Game in (2013). We went and that literally was one of the most memorable – for me in the football sense – one of the most memorable experiences because just going through … Literally, they gave us time to just walk through and you’re looking at the plaques and looking at the memorabilia and they’ve got video boards going through some of the scenarios and things that happened in the football world. Some of the things some of the players have done is just mind boggling. Obviously to have one of our own greats being inducted, a guy that I had the privilege of playing with for a couple seasons, the guy who I kind of think of as my mentor and the guy who started me off in this process, he’s one of the best players ever to do it. I couldn’t be more blessed to share the field with a guy like that and sit next to him in the locker room and pick his brain for as much as I possibly could. I’m doing everything I can to continue to help put this franchise on another level the way he did and the way the guys that came before us did. That’s my goal, to just be the best player I can be day in and day out. I’ll let all that other voting and whatnot take care of itself whenever I bow out.”
(What’s your best Jason Taylor memory?) – “I’ve got a few. Some that are probably not appropriate for this venue. Early on, before we were chummy as we are, I was this unknown rookie coming in from the CFL and he was obviously ‘JT.’ We butted heads a little bit because I didn’t think I was a rookie, he obviously told me I was, and there was one day I didn’t get any food for the plane and we had some choice words with one another. (Then Head) Coach (Tony) Sparano at the time actually sat me down and posed the question as to if he was me, he said ‘I’m not telling you what to do, you’re a grown man you can do what you want; but if I had Jason Taylor,’ and at the time Joey Porter was here too. ‘If I had those two guys at my disposal to pick their brains and find out how they do what they do, or who’s the best masseuse, or where to go on Friday to get your haircut, all these things that they know and all they’re asking me for is some chicken, it might be worthwhile to take part in that silly rookie tradition.’ Needless to say, I had some chicken for them the next week. That was a good one for me.”
(What was the chicken?) – “For the plane. We’ve got to get chicken for the plane. Food. (laughter)”
(What brand? What kind?) – “I don’t remember. Popeyes, I guess.”
(You don’t eat that stuff.) – “I don’t eat it. (laughter) It wasn’t for me. It was for me to give to them. (laughter)”