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Olivier Vernon

Emergence of DE Olivier Vernon makes Dolphins' defense even stronger

Olivier Vernon isn't on the Pro Bowl ballot, doesn't do a sack dance and expressed surprise Wednesday to be chosen the AFC defensive player of the week."I'm not a big accolades guy," Vernon said.Even so, the Miami Dolphins' second-year defensive end is winning acclaim for making their strength even stronger. The front four is the Dolphins' deepest, most dominant unit, and Vernon's no longer considered a weak link.He struggled in the first month of the season but has six sacks in the past three games, increasing his team-high total to 10½, which is tied for fifth-best in the NFL. In last week's win over the New York Jets, Vernon had three sacks and 10 tackles, both career highs.Coming from a player who didn't start as a rookie last year, such success has been unexpected. Or maybe not."When you watch him in practice, it's not a surprise to see him having the success that he had, because he has been a demon in the one-on-one pass rush since training camp," defensive coordinator Kevin Coyl...

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