Miami Sports Day

NFL: Wake, Suh Lead Miami Defense; Jets’ Petty Gets Crushed

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Even as the first-year coach of the Miami Dolphins, Adam Gase has gotten used to seeing defensive end Cameron Wake deliver hard hits to opposing quarterbacks.

Watching Wake pick off a pass? That’s something new — but perhaps something Gase should have seen coming Saturday night.

Wake strip-sacked New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty in the first quarter, intercepted Petty in the second quarter and teamed up with defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to knock Petty out of the game with a pulverizing hit in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins’ 34-13 win at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets led 7-0 and were at the Dolphins’ 14-yard-line when an untouched Wake knocked Petty down before Suh pounced on the loose ball.

“I think when you have a player of his ability that has played as long as he has, he has that knack for timing,” Gase said. “It just seems like he knows when there are those moments in a game where, if something could swing a game, he just seems to find that moment and make it happen.”

Wake did it again two possessions later, when he made his first career interception. Petty, unaware Wake was dropping into a zone blitz, threw the ball right at the eight-year veteran.

“Obviously, I’m not back in coverage very often, so that was a new one for me,” Wake said with a grin. “I had to go back to my linebacker days. I put my hands on it.”
As it turns out, Wake prepared for such a moment by playing catch during warmups.

“I was watching him catch balls in warm-ups thinking to myself ‘Why is he catching balls in warm-ups?'” Gase said. “And all of a sudden I look up and he picks one off. So maybe he knew something I didn’t.”

Wake returned to his comfort zone on the first play of the fourth quarter, when he and Suh sandwiched Petty. Neither man was blocked as Suh delivered the first hit to Petty’s back before Wake crushed Petty in the chest.

“I was laser-focused on my target,” Wake said. “I knew somebody else came in. I didn’t know (it was) Suh. I didn’t see the play or anything at all.”

Petty remained face-down on the field for a few minutes before slowly walking off. The Jets announced during the game he had “the wind knocked out of him,” but coach Todd Bowles said afterward that Petty had a chest injury and would undergo further testing Sunday.

Wake said he hoped Petty would be fine but offered no apologies for the hard hit or the mindset that has the Dolphins (9-5) threatening to make the playoffs for the first time since 2008 — the year before Wake joined the club.

“All week it’s been said from the coaches: Don’t wait for somebody else — you make a play,” Wake said. “That’s the kind of mindset I had. I’m not going to wait for anybody.

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