One day after the NFL announced that it does not plan to change course on how roughing-the-passer penalties are officiated, Miami Dolphins veteran Cameron Wake blasted the league, accusing it of valuing the safety of quarterbacks over players at other positions.
Sep 9, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) prior to a game against Tennessee Titans at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
In an explosive interview with the Miami Herald, the 36-year-old defensive end held nothing back in calling out the league for its policy changes for the 2018 season that have caused controversy this season.
“Everybody knows the league is concerned about player safety, it just depends on what player,” Wake told the Herald on Friday. “If it’s players’ safety, everybody should be safe, not just certain players. It should be everyone …
“Now I’m supposed to sacrifice myself in order to protect [the quarterback]?”
After some talk in league circles this week that the adjusted rules would be re-evaluated and possibly altered, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent revealed Thursday that the league will not change its rule regarding roughing the passer and defenders falling on quarterbacks with all or most of their body weight.
Several calls have sparked outcries already this season, including a series of penalties called on Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews. Earlier this week, Dolphins head coach Adam Gase blamed the tougher rule interpretations for an injury to one of his defensive players. Gase told reporters that Dolphins defensive end William Hayes tore his anterior cruciate ligament while sacking Oakland’s David Carr and trying to roll off the Raiders quarterback to avoid a flag.
“Excuse my language, but don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining,” Wake said. “Just tell me, ‘Listen, we’re going to protect quarterbacks differently. We’re not going to protect running backs or receivers or defensive players.’ Just be blunt about it.
“Not ‘We care about your safety,’ because you don’t care about my safety. You care about some people’s safety.
“My knees mean just as much to my family and my ability to play and provide just as (Miami quarterback Ryan) Tannehill’s does. I can’t understand that his are more important than mine.”
—Field Level Media