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, we’ll 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 that’s going on. Just try to start fresh. A lot of guys are trying to come back from injuries and whatnot, what we’ve got going on. So, it’s 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, everybody’s back in the building, everybody’s looking [in] high spirits, so that’s 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. That’s 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: They’ve got a great running game. [Running back Todd] Gurley, he’s been having a great year and one thing we’ve got to do is stop the run. If we can’t stop the run, then it’s 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. They’re winning close games and they’re 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 he’s got a lot to prove.
Q: When you look back on the first half of the season, why didn’t the defense make more plays?
A: If we could tell you, we wouldn’t be in the position right now. It was just, I guess, lack of communication and it’s on us as a defense to get that right. We’ve just been trying to work on it, getting better as far as communicating where guys need to be at and it’s just a process. We’ve got to keep progressing each and every day and each and every week.
Q: Do you think that the defense wasn’t as hungry in the first half of the season as they were last year?
A: I don’t know about the hunger part, we’ve got guys that are fighting. A lot of games that we didn’t 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, it’s about, if we made that stop on third down, or, if you gave up an explosive play. That’s one thing that we kind of dialed in last year and were able to stop. This year, it’s just not going our way right now. So, we’ve just got to focus in and re-evaluate ourselves and just try to get better.