Defensive End Olivier Vernon
October 30, 2017
Q: Are you close to coming back from your injury?
A: Day by day. So, I felt good today, weíll see how I feel tomorrow.
Q: From a mental perspective, how can you flush out the first half of the season and reset?
A: When it comes down to it, you want to get a Bye Week in the middle of the season, so you can reflect on everything thatís going on. Just try to start fresh. A lot of guys are trying to come back from injuries and whatnot, what weíve got going on. So, itís always a good thing when you can get a break and come back into the building starting refreshed.
Q: Do you get the feeling that guys are refreshed today, coming back from the Bye Week?
A: Yeah, I think so. At the end of the day, guys sometimes have to get out of the building, collect their thoughts and get back to the ground. But yeah, everybodyís back in the building, everybodyís looking [in] high spirits, so thatís a good sign.
Q: How does the team approach the second half of the season?
A: Just same as we came into the season. Just having the same mentality of one game at a time. Thatís all we can do, all we could do is focus on the Rams right now.
Q: What sort of unique challenges does the Rams offense pose to you as a defensive unit?
A: Theyíve got a great running game. [Running back Todd] Gurley, heís been having a great year and one thing weíve got to do is stop the run. If we canít stop the run, then itís going to be a long day for us. So, we know the jobs that we have to do, as far as a unit, to help us get this W.
Q: What is the biggest difference in this Rams offense from the one you faced last season?
A: Guys just making the plays. Theyíre winning close games and theyíre playing more as a unit. They have a new quarterback in, new players like that, but [quarterback Jared Goff] is coming into his zone right now and heís got a lot to prove.
Q: When you look back on the first half of the season, why didnít the defense make more plays?
A: If we could tell you, we wouldnít be in the position right now. It was just, I guess, lack of communication and itís on us as a defense to get that right. Weíve just been trying to work on it, getting better as far as communicating where guys need to be at and itís just a process. Weíve got to keep progressing each and every day and each and every week.
Q: Do you think that the defense wasnít as hungry in the first half of the season as they were last year?
A: I donít know about the hunger part, weíve got guys that are fighting. A lot of games that we didnít come up with the wins, we were fighting to get the wins. But just have to get better, communication-wise and finishing the plays. A lot of the teams we played against, they just made better plays than we did. And then when it comes down to it, itís about, if we made that stop on third down, or, if you gave up an explosive play. Thatís one thing that we kind of dialed in last year and were able to stop. This year, itís just not going our way right now. So, weíve just got to focus in and re-evaluate ourselves and just try to get better.