Mentoring Dolphins DE Charles Harris incredibly rewarding for Cameron Wake

Charles Harris is Cameron Wake’s protege. (Bill Ingram/The Post)

DAVIE — No one from the Dolphins had to ask Cameron Wake to take on a teaching role when they drafted defensive end Charles Harris last year. Not threatened by the team spending a first-round pick on someone at his position, Wake was eager to be a mentor if that’s what Harris wanted.

It’s hard to come up with a better role model for Harris than Wake, who is going into his 10th season and seems as dangerous as ever at age 36. It helps that he’s willing to take that on and do everything he can to help.

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“I probably enjoy that (almost) as much as playing football,” Wake said. “There’s so much that you gain playing this game and being in the locker room and just going through life as an NFL player that no teacher can teach you, no pamphlet, no seminar. Most coaches don’t understand and don’t know.

“You’d have to have been in the mix. A lot of the lessons I learned early on in my career were from guys who played 10-plus years in the league and said, ‘Listen, this is how you get to the quarterback. This is what to look for on Sunday. This is what to look for off the field. Don’t do this. This is how you’re going to get that second contract.’

“To me, I want to see everybody win. I want you to make the most money, get the most sacks.”

Wake hasn’t decided what he’ll do when he retires, which could still be a long way off, but he’s mentioned his love of coaching a few times.

Harris came in as the No. 22 overall pick last year and played behind Wake and Andre Branch. He finished his rookie season with two sacks, two pass breakups and 19 tackles.

This year, he is currently slated to be a reserve again, but could get a bigger opportunity. The Dolphins appear to be going with Wake and Robert Quinn as their starting defensive ends, followed by Branch and Harris, but defensive line coach Kris Kocurek said the plan is to balance their snap counts in order to keep them as fresh as possible.

As Harris continues his progression, Wake will be there for him.

“Whatever you need, whether on the field, off the field, anything, I am completely open,” Wake said. “I want to share that wisdom because it’s not like I can go to other (jobs) and tell them, ‘This is how you do this pass rush,’ or, ‘This is how to work as an NFL player.’ I can only speak to a certain group who has the ability and who will be able to implement the things that I’m saying.

“It’s kind of that use it or lose it. I’m not going to take it with me and give it to anyone else. I’ve got to give it to the Charles Harrises of the world to hopefully apply the same way the Jason Taylors of the world (did) for me.”

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