Wake’s six sacks in 2018 came despite playing less than 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. Since 2006, Wake has posted the second highest pressure percentage (16.7 %) in the NFL, behind only Von Miller (17.1), according to Pro Football Focus. Wake generated 54 pressures on 313 pass-rushes in 2018, per PFF. On 517 defensive snaps last season, Wake recorded an overall grade of 81.6 and was among the league’s most productive pass rushers, per PFF.
Heading into free agency, the Titans needed more help from a pass rushing standpoint following the retirement of Brian Orakpo, during an offseason when veteran Derrick Morgan became an unrestricted free agent.
Wake not only has a heck of a resume, but he also has plenty of experience that should help the team’s younger players develop.
“I was blessed, at the beginning of my career, being under some pretty good guys who played in this league, like Jason Taylor, Joey Porter, and guys like that, guys I had an opportunity to learn from and ask questions, be a sponge around,” Wake said. “That wisdom they’d gained from all the years they’d played at the time I was coming in, I grabbed whatever nuggets I could.
“I’ve been fortunate to play in this league a long time and gained some of those nuggets myself. So being able to pass that on to whoever is upcoming in this league and on this team, it is something I think of as a responsibility, for the older players to make sure the guys coming up can be successful as well.”
Wake, who began his NFL career with the Dolphins in 2009, racked up 14 sacks in 2010, 15 sacks in 2012, 11.5 sacks in 2014, and 11.5 sacks in 2016 before his 10.5-sack season in 2017.
Wake started 14 games for the Dolphins in 2018, with 14 starts, and tallied 36 tackles, 17 quarterback hits, six sacks, five tackles for loss, and a pass deflection in addition to his six sacks.
Before joining the Dolphins, Wake played two seasons in the Canadian Football League in 2007-08, and he recorded 39 sacks over those two seasons while earning Western Division All-Star honors as well as the Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award both years.
Wake, who played at Penn State, initially joined the Giants in April 2015, but he was released before the season.
After jumpstarting his career in the CFL, Wake’s NFL career took off, and the Titans now hope he’ll continue to make an impact in Tennessee.
“One of my coaches always said, ball is ball, and it doesn’t matter whether you do it on the moon, on the grass,” Wake said. “At the end of the day, once you get across that line it’s football. It doesn’t really matter what color you are wearing or any of that stuff.
“It all comes from inside, and obviously I wouldn’t be here if that recipe didn’t work. Every day I put on my helmet and I go out there and I put my best foot forward and I reach my potential and I still do that to this day. That’s not going to change.”