EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Dolphins matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS) at Sun Life Stadium.
Key matchup No. 3: Rolando McClain vs. Reggie Bush
Key matchup No. 1: (coming Saturday afternoon)
Tale of the tape
Jared Veldheer: 6-foot-8, 315 pounds, third season, Hillsdale
Cameron Wake: 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, fourth season, Penn StateHOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- That the Dolphins have switched from a 3-4 defense, in which Wake played outside linebacker, to a 4-3, where he is now a defensive end, matters little to the battle shaping up to protect Carson Palmer's blind side. Not when Veldheer, the Raiders' left tackle, and Wake are more than familiar with each other already.The two have done battle in each of the past two seasons, with Wake getting a sack and a quarterback hit in 2010 and three quarterback hurries in 2011."The opportunity to go up against a great rusher is always something I enjoy," Veldheer said this week."As far as in your pass setting, youre maintaining a certain relationship the whole time. So the wider and tighter the whole rush is, youre adjusting to that in your set and it kind of varies every play. The guys never going to be in the same place twice, not the exact same spot."Wake is two sacks away from becoming the seventh Dolphins player with 30 sacks in franchise history.Simply getting past Veldheer and into Carson Palmer's head might be a just as important for Wake, from the Dolphins' perspective."Make the quarterback move his feet more," said Miami coach Joe Philbin, "so even if you don't sack or don't hit him, you can disrupt the timing of the play."Still, Wake is not a simple pass-rush specialist. His run defense helped limit the Raiders to just 46 yards on the ground in Miami's 34-14 defeat of the Raiders last Dec. 4 and Darren McFadden to two yards on eight carries in the Dolphins' 33-17 victory in 2010."Hes a great all-around player, not just a great pass rusher," Veldheer said."Hes a relentless guy and an athletic guy who moves well, uses what he has to his advantage. Hes crafty and definitely makes sure the tackle is on top of his stuffall day, as hard as he can, hes coming at you and never stop and never quit."