If you've been following the NFL closely this season, you may have heard the remarkable story of Cameron Wake, the Miami Dolphins linebacker who's currently leading the league with six quarterback sacks. A few years ago, Wake was a mortgage broker before logging time in the Canadian Football League and becoming one of the NFL's most feared pass rushers - seemingly overnight.
Fellow Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder has compared Wake's ability to anticipate the snap count to that of former teammate Jason Taylor. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin thinks Wake is headed to the Pro Bowl. High praise.
Though he's listed at right outside linebacker, Wake actually lines up on both sides, so both Steelers tackles - Flozell Adams and Max Starks - will have to deal with Wake's speed and power while trying to protect Ben Roethlisberger.
Speaking of Roethlisberger, the quarterback has nothing but respect for Wake:
I think everybody in the NFL knows who he is [now]. He's causing a huge stir and doing some great things. He's a very physical rusher. It doesn't seem to matter whether he's being blocked - he seems to find a way to throw guys off him or run through them. He's making plays left and right like it's nothing.
Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers had better hope that Wake doesn't make too many plays this Sunday. Last week, the linebacker terrorized Aaron Rodgers, a similarly mobile quarterback with dubious pass protection, bringing him down three times en route to a 23-20 Dolphins victory.
Look for the Steelers to utilize Rashard Mendenhall on the ground and short routes to their receivers to reduce the frequency of third-and-long situations where Wake could really tee off on Pittsburgh's tackles.