Among the breakout players for the Miami Dolphins in 2013 was defensive end Olivier Vernon. Born and raised in Miami, Vernon played for the Miami Hurricanes before being drafted by the Dolphins in the third round in the 2012 draft.
Playing opposite Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake last season, Vernon recorded 11.5 sacks in his sophomore season with the team. Although injuries have hobbled Vernon through much of training camp and the offseason, he is hoping to get on the field this Friday when the Dolphins take on the Atlanta Falcons in the team’s first preseason game.
“I am excited for Friday,” Vernon told FanSided this morning after Dolphins practice. “It has been a while since a game, and although I am on a week to week schedule I am excited.”
Vernon has been bothered by a back injury for the past several weeks, but was able to get in some crucial snaps this morning. As for whether or not he will play Friday, he is just not certain yet.
“I have no idea if I will play, it is up to the coaches to decide, but I would love to play.”
The Dolphins defense has looked excellent in training camp thus far, and Vernon is excited about the opportunity to play with his teammates over the next several months.
“We feel good going into the season,” Vernon said candidly. “Everybody is communicating and everything seems to be gelling together really well. Our preparation is showing on the field; everybody is trying to get better every week.”
Vernon has the opportunity to potentially be a surprise Pro Bowl selection this season if he keeps progressing. His No. 1 priority? Staying healthy.
“My main goal is to stay healthy. I want to be able to go out there and play with my teammates week in and week out. We are all looking forward to September 7th.”