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Four Fins Making Most Out Of Pro Bowl Experience

Posted Jan 25, 2013

Wake, Incognito, Starks and Denney enjoying trip to Hawaii


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For Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, defensive tackle Randy Starks and long snapper John Denney, this week’s trip to Hawaii for the 2013 Pro Bowl feels familiar, but not for left guard Richie Incognito. He is making his first appearance in the game after being added as a replacement for Baltimore Ravens guard Marshal Yanda.

“I was actually holding out on going to Hawaii for a long time. I wouldn’t go until I made a Pro Bowl,” Incognito said. “A couple years ago a friend talked me into going to Maui and I checked it out. I was being stubborn but now I can go and enjoy the Pro Bowl.”

Back when the Pro Bowl rosters were initially announced on December 26th, Wake was slated to be the only Dolphins player making the trip. His first trip following the 2010 season almost ended up being like that because Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long had to pull out due to an injury, but Starks wound up joining him as a replacement.

Now that Wake feels like a veteran of the game, especially with the number of first-year players making the trip this year, he is eager to team up with Starks again and watch Incognito and Denney do their thing. All four want to represent the Dolphins the right way and Wake with his career-high 15 sacks is leading the charge.

“It’s great having some familiar faces and some good guys from the home team coming over here,” said Wake, who made it as an outside linebacker the first time around. “I think it shows the kind of team we had that we have four guys over here who can represent the Miami Dolphins and we just want to go out there on Sunday and make it a big showing for everybody back home in Miami.

“The year before last when it was Randy’s first Pro Bowl and mine as well, we were in different rooms and this year we played every snap next to each other on defense. I know how great he is and I’m glad he got to come over again this year and it speaks volumes about the caliber of guys in that room.”

Wake conceded that Incognito being a first-timer is among those players taking in the experience a bit differently than he, Starks and Denney are. The fact that the two lined up opposite each other on occasion in practice with the Dolphins gave Wake a better perspective on what type of player Incognito is and he is happy for his teammate.

When Wake played in the game the first time two years ago he was fired up and accustomed to going hard in practice and in the games. He had to be coached a little by some of the veterans to dial it back a notch because none of these guys want to get injured while at the same time wanting to win the game. That’s the way Incognito plays, so he is looking forward to seeking out advice from the veterans on his side of the ball this week.

“I’m just excited to talk shop with these guys because these are the best in the business,” Incognito said. “I’m passionate about what I do, I’m passionate about my craft so to just be able to sit down and talk football with these guys and get their take on it and talk technique will be fun. This is a great honor and I’m really excited to represent the Dolphins and the rest of our offensive line. I couldn’t be here without them. This is for all of us because we all put in the grind together.”

In fact, the entire offensive line took a trip to Las Vegas for their annual trip and to continue to bond with each other out there. He went out of his way to lobby for center Mike Pouncey to make future Pro Bowls.

Outside of the game, there are a lot of other events that take place in Hawaii throughout the week and those experiences become just as memorable for the players as the game itself. That’s what Wake really was looking forward to this time.

“I think one of the main things is actually just being able to give back with things like Play60 with the fans. But also one of the big things is when you’re not doing the football but just sitting back at the pool or at dinner and hanging around with some of the guys you don’t normally get to hang around with. It’s some of the all-time greats and Hall-of-Famers and guys that have been here 10, 12 or 13 times. So just talking football and life with those guys are the type of experiences you just can’t buy. You’ve got to earn your spot to get over here so it’s definitely rewarding.”
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