In Dolphins Generations, we ask the same questions to both a current Dolphins player and an alumnus to see how their answers differ based on the era they played in. This week's Dolphins Generations features current Dolphins Pro Bowl linebacker
Who is/was the toughest offensive lineman you have faced?
WAKE: “Jake (Long). Can I say that? Is that bad to say that? No, I’ll stick with Jake because of his quick feet, long arms and sheer athleticism. He helps me get better every day in practice.”
COX: “Two guys come to mind. One would be Jackie Slater when he played with the L.A. Rams and then Bruce Matthews when he played with the Houston Oilers. They were heavy guys, technically sound with good feet and they were strong. They’re both Hall-of-Famers of course with no real shortcomings in their game. They had balance and knew how to keep themselves between you and the quarterback. That to me is what makes a great offensive tackle.”
Which defensive end or OLB did you look up to growing up?
WAKE: “Is it politically correct to say
COX: “I’d have to say two guys again. Fortunately, I had the chance to play with both of them here at the Dolphins – Hugh Green and E.J. Junior. When I was growing up E.J. Junior was a St. Louis Cardinal and of course myself growing up in East St. Louis I got to see him play on a number of occasions and I got to idolize him. Coming out of Alabama and playing for Bear Bryant, he was just a wonderful figure. Then when you talk about Hugh Green coming from the University of Pittsburgh and that whole defense and the number of players that they had that played in the NFL, he was a guy and fortunately I got to play with both of those guys. They taught me a lot about being a professional and playing at this level, so those would be the two guys that I idolized.”
What is/was your favorite pass rush move to employ?
WAKE: “I have to go with the bull rush where you just take the man, impose your will and dump him on top of the quarterback. Don’t go around, go straight through him and drop 350 pounds on the quarterback’s head, that’s what I like right there.”
COX: “I don’t know that it has a name but I was more of a slithery guy. I was a tight-hip guy that couldn’t move but I would go up and run and I’d just take advantage of what the tackle did. If he overstepped me and went outside I went inside and if he stayed inside I went outside. So I just took what the guys gave me and I just kind of understood where I had to be so I took advantage of the position based on what they did.”
What is the most important asset for an outside linebacker?
WAKE: “I’d say relentlessness. You have to keep your feet moving and keep driving towards the quarterback in pass rush situations and never let the opposing lineman think he’s got you corralled.”
COX: “I’d say understanding protections. That probably helped me more than any speed or strength because I wasn’t strong and I wasn’t fast but I understood how I was being blocked and I was able to have some success that way. I could see the play before it happened.”
What is/was your best asset as an outside linebacker?
WAKE: “Mental toughness is my strongest asset because I’m facing double teams and going up against the other team’s best offensive lineman each and every snap. I have to keep the same mindset and focus and that’s what I’ve always done best.”
COX: “I think more than anything probably tenacity. If you don’t quit and if you really work hard the entire down you’re going to beat people just on playing hard a lot of times. As far as a technical standpoint or a characteristic I would say either speed and/or strength. If you had one of those two you’d probably be exciting and if you had both you’re going to be dangerous.”
What is/was your most memorable play?
WAKE: “It has to be the end of the Jets game away last year when I got two sacks on (Mark) Sanchez on that last drive that kept them out of the end zone (in Miami’s 10-6 victory).”
COX: “I’ve always enjoyed other people’s moments like Shula winning his 300th game or Marino passing Fran Tarkenton for the all-time most yards thrown and being on the field at the end of the game when we won the Super Bowl. My moments come from a team concept, they don’t come from an individual concept, but as far as one quarterback that I sacked that stands out to me it’s Marino. He was my teammate, so once I went to the Jets and I sacked him he’d be cussing me out that was great. But he’s a great friend so that was good. I love him to death.”