http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/ar...9-1692bfb25072Miami native made big strides on defense and special teams.Olivier Vernon felt right at home the moment he showed up for the Miami Dolphins’ rookie minicamp last May. That’s because he was home, just a short drive from his parents’ house and close to where he starred at the University of Miami.
By season’s end, the rookie defensive end who was taken with the first of two third-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft showed enough promise as a pass rushing defensive end and a solid special teams contributor to earn praise from his teammates and coaches alike. His speed and athleticism paid dividends in the form of 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and 32 tackles (25 solo) and he feels like he only scratched the surface.
“I learned a lot during the season as a rookie and I know there’s more that I can learn about and I can continue to grow,” Vernon said. “Everybody says your biggest jump is from your first to the second year so I want to exceed expectations, especially for myself.”
There was a clear method to defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle’s decision to have Vernon shadow veteran defensive end Cameron Wake early on and the coach and the player understood that method. Wake and Vernon are similar in build and share a similar skill set, primarily a quick first step off the line of scrimmage.