Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As anyone who watched the Carolina Panthers demolish the Miami Dolphins defense last Friday night, help was desperately needed. But help is on the way after defensive end Cameron Wake returned to practice Monday.
The Dolphins sack machine had been out of action since last week after his BMW and a Lexus collided in Plantation. Wake wanted to get back on the field because Week 3 of the preseason is largely considered a dress rehearsal for the regular season and the starters’ last chance to play before the regular season.
“The closer you get to the season the more you want to replicate the regular season,” Wake told the South-Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It counts but it doesn’t count, we’re keeping score out there and trying to win as we need to establish ourselves as your temperament.”
Additionally, the starting defense got outside linebacker Kevin Burnett back in the fold to help a defensive front-seven that has been bullied around by both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers, neither of whom made the playoffs last season.
Overall, the Dolphins’ starters have been outscored 24-0 in the first quarters of the two preseason games. Carolina ran over, through, and around the Dolphins defense without even a hesitation. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton never had to worry about pass rush as the Dolphins never got close to him.
That allowed Newton to chew up the Dolphins pass defense en route to going 8-11 for 119 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. The Panthers gained 390 yards against the Dolphins defense. Still, Wake sees no reason to worry.
“I don’t pay much attention to the outside world especially, as long as these sweaty people in here aren’t panicking and they’re chipping away at their craft every day,” Wake told the Sun-Sentinel.
The Dolphins will still be without middle linebacker Karlos Dansby who has been out with a knee injury. Dansby, arguably the most talented defender, is desperately needed to shore up a linebacking corps that has been unspectacular thus far in the preseason.