Linebacker Olivier Vernon
August 20, 2018
Q: What was that play like the other day where you went through three Lions blockers to get to the quarterback?
A: Just trying to make the play, we just put in a lot of work in going over there for the joint practices, it felt good to go out there and play a little longer than the previous week, weíre just trying to keep working.
Q: Youíre a guy who likes to set things up, you just donít play that much (in the preseason) so is it hard to get in that rhythm?
A: I know what you mean but come preseason time, you have to start fast. You have to kind of get the feel of it early even though youíre not going to get the rest later throughout the game. For myself, itís basically getting down my technique, working on my technique, making sure everything is solid as far as knowing the playbook and not having any mental errors. Thatís one of the biggest things when it comes to the preseason, itís all mental.
Q: Are you starting to get ready for the Jaguars yet, mentally?
A: We take it one week at a time, but as soon as the schedule comes out, I donít know when it came out, but I think thatís been the first game on my mind ever since it came out.
Q: At what point do you start studying the offensive tackle that youíre going to be facing that day?
A: Just when we have the game plan in for that week. Right now, even though itís preseason, we have the Jets. Itís getting back into that routine, game planning for the team that we have the week of, so thatís basically where itís at right now.†
Q: Understanding that starters arenít playing the whole games on either side, you guys (the defense) are only giving up 58 yards per game rushing. How good could this Ďfront 7í be against the run?
A: Thatís going to be a telltale sign when we get out there (during) game one against Jacksonville. Like I always say, ĎWeíre only as good as weíll make ourselves beí, itís just a work in progress.
Q: The other side of that, the pass rush. We looked a month ago, you were the only guy on this roster who had ever had more than three sacks in a season, then the team signed Connor Barwin. (Lorenzo) Carter has looked pretty good, how do you feel like the pass rush is? The guys who are going to be complimenting you in the pass rush?
A: We have a lot of depth. We have a lot of guys who have been working hard during this offseason. From what Iíve seen out there on the field with those guys, weíve got a lot of talent, those guys are working hard and theyíre hungry. So, add that with depth, weíre going to see how it goes, but Iím excited to see (what happens) with the type of work theyíve been putting in in practice and then going out on game day and trying to show it out there. I feel like theyíre doing it, weíre going to have to see game one.
Q: Youíve had a chance to go against your offensive line for the last couple of weeks, what do you see from them in the sense that theyíre all new and kind of learning?
A: I see the cohesiveness amongst them Ė and thatís on the field and off. Those guys are always together. Thatís what you expect from the offensive line group. Those guys are all like brothers. They go everywhere with each other. That translates well on the field when it comes down to it. I think their attitude is one of the things that Iíve noticed, especially going against them in practice and since OTAs. They got depth in that group, too, as well. They have a lot of guys that are working. Theyíre working, theyíre building that chemistry. Thatís one thing you like to see in the offensive line group.
Q: How anxious are you to unleash the new defense against an opponent where it counts?
A: The whole process of (Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher) Coach ďBettchĒ bringing his scheme in, for myself and I feel like for the guys, itís been fun. Being able to translate that to real time, to a game day, I think everybody is excited. Itís kind of like a fresh start. Itís going to be fun for a lot of guys, especially being put in different positions and just a way of attacking on defense. I think itís going to be a lot more fun for some of the guys, for all of us basically.
Q: Has the coaching staff changed their way of teaching the game after the enforcement of new helmet rule?
A: Honestly, itís really about what the referees deem as a penalty. I remember having a conversion with one of the refs last game, and he really didnít know how to explain how weíre supposed to tackle somebody if theyíre lowering their head against us. So, I have no idea how thatís going to pan out. Itís really on them. Thatís all I got to say.
Q: Did you guys talk about the (LB) Mark Herzlich penalty as a group?
A: Have you seen it? I donít know what you can teach on that. If somebody is shorter than you and gets low, I just donít how you defeat that. I donít know.
Q: Does James Bettcher ever calm down?
A: Bettcher is a high-intensity guy. On the defensive side, you love that. Heís the same guy, same person every day. It makes it fun. It kind of breaks up the monotony. Itís just a different type of flow to things. Heís probably been the youngest defensive coordinator Iíve had. From my experiences in the spring, itís been a good time.††
Q: It seems like he was aggressive after someone dropped an interception today.
A: He just wants the best out of each and every one of us. He wants us playing to our full potential. Heís just trying to squeeze every last ounce of anything that each and every individual has. You canít do nothing but respect that and appreciate it.