BY NICK ST. DENIS
But like his team, he was never really out of it until the end. (photo: June Rivera, Flickr)
The third-round rookie gained steam through the first five games of his rookie season and had his best showing Week 6 against the St. Louis Rams, recording two sacks and two quarterback hits to go with a pair of tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
According to Pro Football Focus, Vernon tallied four quarterback hurries and three quarterback hits in the two games following the Rams contest. In one of those games, a win over the New York Jets, Vernon recovered a blocked punt in the opposing end zone to score his first touchdown since high school.
Vernon enjoyed his big special teams play, but he's certainly looking to be involved in more big plays on the defensive side of the ball. Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, one of the best in the business, says he's confident Vernon will do just that.
Wake, who recorded 15 sacks last season and made his second Pro Bowl in three years, will continue to aid Vernon's development entering year two -- whether Wake wants to or not.
“This whole offseason I’m probably going to be working out with him the whole time trying to learn as much as I can from him,” Vernon said of Wake. “Anything to help me get better I’m going to do.
"I know he has a whole lot to offer and he’s a really good teacher, so whatever I can grab and any kind of knowledge I can get from him, I’m going to be annoying to him and I’m going to be bugging him the whole time.”
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