In the wake of Cameron Wake spending OTA's and minicamp on the second team, despite flashing potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the business last season, it's only fitting to delve into the topic of whats holding him back.
Most of you already know that the coaches haven't been too high on Wake's ability to drop back into coverage and defend the run. Meanwhile, Charlie Anderson, who's ceiling is considerably lower than Wake's and who has been getting the starter reps Wake covets, is thought to be more of an all-around player and more capable of doing the things Wake struggles with.
As fans, we really haven't seen Wake covering much, but he was in on several run plays in 09', despite mostly getting action on primarily passing situations. Below is a well done film breakdown of Wake rushing the passer, as well as defending the run.
Pass rush: As expected, Wake was phenomenal rushing the passer. Not only did he display the pure athleticism to burst right by the tackle and tight rope to the quarterback, but he also showed the brute strength to bull rush effectively, completely collapsing the pocket.
Run defense: In light of watching this video, I have a better understanding of why the coaches might not trust Wake defending the run. While, Wake has the explosion to aggressively rush the passer, he too often sets the edge for the pass rush, not realizing it's a run play, and thus opens a huge lane for the ball carrier. When he does diagnose the run, he has trouble shedding blocks, because he can't rely on bull rushing beacuse the back would have time to run right by. From the looks of things, he will likely have to make significant strides in play recognition and block shedding in tight spaces, if he wants to emerge as a every down starter.