After spending the first 25 years of his life in Florida, Olivier Vernon is ready to take the next step in his life. The young, and now quite well paid, defensive end from the Miami Dolphins is excited about his chance to play for the New York Giants and is prepared to take on his role as a member of their new defensive front.
“It’s a different chapter,” Vernon said. “Being able to see something different, a bigger city, a faster pace, but it’s always good to have a change of scenery from time to time and I’m glad I chose this spot to make my home.”
A big change for Vernon will be adapting to the weather. The humid climate in Florida is much different from the cold weather the Giants are used to playing in come the regular season.
“I’ve played in cold weather,” Vernon said. “I’ve played in snow before. I’ve never lived in snow and have never had to shovel snow a day in my life. The only thing I had to worry about is hurricanes and the sun, but I don’t think it will be too bad.”
While hurricanes shouldn’t be a problem up North, Vernon could expect to face the challenge of dropping back into coverage, perhaps even playing on the opposite side of the defensive line.
“I’ve dropped before,” Vernon said. “I came from a system where we dropped the past four years, so it won’t be anything different. I played a little bit on the opposite side. It’s just something I have to get adjusted to if that tends to happen. I’m really comfortable on the right side. I’ve always played the right side.”
Vernon seems more than willing to do whatever is asked of him. But this willingness does not just appear from nowhere, it begins with a positive feeling towards one’s head coach and a respect for where the team is going.
“I feel like he’s a good guy (Ben McAdoo),” Vernon said. “As far as his first team meeting, first day, he laid it out. He showed his whole plan of what he wanted to accomplish. Straightforward. I get the sense he’s not going to play games with you. He’s going to tell you how it is. That’s the kind of coaching that I like.”
While a new city, a new team, and a brand new head coach are all challenges to overcome, it is also worth noting that Vernon is playing in New York. Just as Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have experienced before, the Big Apple wants immediate success.
Whether or not Vernon can handle the expectations the fans will have and if he can stand up to the pressure of playing in New York, will show if the Giants spent their money wisely.