Dolphins rookie Dion Jordan learning from Cameron Wake
SEP 03, 2013 8:46p ET
Jordan, the defensive end taken out of Oregon with the No. 3 pick in the draft, is being tutored on a daily basis by All-Pro defensive end Cameron Wake. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin wanted his prized rookie to learn from the wise Wake, so it was no coincidence he assigned Jordan the locker next to Wake’s at Miami's practice facility.
So what has the youngster learned so far?
"Just the way to take care of your body," Jordan said. "(Wake) treats it like a very expensive car. He won't put in any bad gas or he wouldn't go a few months without changing his oil. … He likes to show off his body by walking around without a shirt. Yeah, maybe I can show off like that (one day)."
Jordan, who is a svelte 6-foot-6, 248 pounds, has a ways to go to match the buff 6-foot-3, 256-pound Wake, who probably has the lowest body fat in the NFL. But the more he listens to Wake, the more of a chance he has.
Wake ranked fourth in the NFL last season with 15 sacks. Jordan had 12.5 sacks in his final two college seasons, and expectations are he will develop into an elite NFL pass rusher.
But there's one big difference in how the NFL careers started for each player. Wake was undrafted in 2005 while only tackles Eric Fisher (to Kansas City) and Luke Joeckel (to Jacksonville) went ahead of Jordan in last April's draft.
"My road was one of potholes," Wake said of making the NFL after spending two years as a stock broker and then playing two years in Canada before joining Miami in 2009. "I had some broken-down cars in the way, flooding, all kind of landslides. But at the end of the day, we're sitting next to each other. He's the third overall pick and I'm some guy nobody ever heard of. I guess it's not where you start, it's where you finish."
Wake has told his story of perseverance to Jordan. He also gives him plenty of other advice.
"Just helping him make the transition from college to the pros," Wake said. "Everybody here is a professional. There are first-round quality guys. What are you going to do to make a step above the guy across from you?"
Jordan is taking it all in.
"I've learned just the way he takes care of himself, how he prepares week in and week out," Jordan said. "He's had to work for everything he's been given. It's interesting to see that he was a Pro Bowler who came from a different route and what he's been able to accomplish."
It's not only football the two talk. Wake might be 31 and Jordan 23, but they have been able to bond in another way.
"We enjoy the same music," Jordan said. "Kind of hip-hop. He plays a lot of Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne. He's not too old. He's still hip to the new things."
The no-nonsense Philbin might not care much about the musical tastes of the two players. Then again, the more the two have to talk about would seem to be for the better.
Jordan found out his locker is next to Wake's when the rookie showed up in early June for the first rookie camp he was allowed to attend. Jordan couldn't participate due to coming off shoulder surgery, but he was able to begin the bonding process with Wake.
"Cam is pro," Philbin said of putting the two next to each other. "He's definitely a professional. … His enthusiasm for his job, he's passionate about what he does. The players can be the best examples. I can talk all I want, but his examples, the way he practices and performs on a consistent basis is a great example for any young player."
Wake said he was helped when he broke into the league by Miami veterans Jason Taylor and Joey Porter. Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick, a fourth-year man, said it was invaluable having a locker next to Taylor in 2011 when Odrick played his first full season after injuries had held him to just one game as a rookie in 2010.
"That's a good intentional move," Odrick said of Wake and Jordan having lockers next to each other. "(Jordan) can abstract as much information as you possible can out of a guy like that."
Wake drove to practice Tuesday in a Jaguar while Jordan showed up in a much less flashy Chevrolet Tahoe. But that's not the type of machinery Wake is concerned about.
"I’m a high-performance machine," Wake said. "(Jordan is) already fine tuned. He just needs a little more tuning."
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson
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