Veteran pass rusher Cameron Wake wasted no time in making his presence felt in the Tennessee Titans’ 43-13 season-opening victory over the Cleveland Browns.
Wake, 37, played just 24 snaps on Sunday but had 2.5 sacks – one for a safety that was also his 100th career sack – and had two tackles for loss.
The Titans kept Wake mostly under wraps in the preseason, barely using him even in camp practices. But when the season-opening bell rang, it was Wake who arguably had the biggest impact on the defense.
His 2.5 sacks Sunday were more than starting outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan combined for all last season, as both were winding down their careers.
Wake’s safety on his sack of Baker Mayfield gave the Titans a 12-6 halftime lead, and in the second half, Tennessee took off, outscoring Cleveland 31-7 in the final two quarters.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said that Wake played his role to perfection on Sunday, and that young players looking to last in the league should see him as an example.
“That’s why he’s here. He’s here to be a productive player for us and he’s here to be a great leader in that group and for that defense,” Vrabel said Monday. “For any young player to understand that if you have any adversity early on in your career, or you’re working your way up from the practice squad, this guy was in Canada, went undrafted. A lot of things are good to point out about his career and why he’s here.”
The Titans came out of the game relatively healthy, according to Vrabel. The coach indicated that there were no serious injuries suffered in the game.
Right guard Kevin Pamphile, who suffered a minor knee injury during the week and missed the game, will be checked out this week. “We’ll re-evaluate him and look at him and see what he can do on Wednesday and keep moving along,” Vrabel said.
Jamil Douglas moved into the starting lineup and played well, and might even have the chance to keep the job.
“I think there’s always a chance. I think there’s a chance we’ll keep moving guys in the lineup tthatgives us the best chance to win every week,” Vrabel said.