Olivier Vernon isn’t allowing himself to think about the playoffs yet. After the scars he experienced with such hopes during his four years in Miami, who can blame him?
There were two seasons when the playoffs were a possibility for him late in the season. In 2013, the Dolphins were 8-6 and lost their last two games. In 2014, they were 7-6 and went 1-2 in the last three.
Both seasons ended after 16 games.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world,” he said.
So while many already are predicting that the Giants (6-3) will get to the postseason this year and end their own drought of four years without a playoff appearance, Vernon isn’t buying it.
“Still taking it one game at a time, one week at a time,” he said. “That’s the goal.”
Even when wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. touted the Giants as having a Super Bowl defense after Monday night’s win, Vernon shrugged.
“All we can do is prove it on Sundays,” Vernon said. “That’s all we can do.”
Vernon may not want to talk about the playoffs now, but that’s certainly one of the reasons why he came to the Giants as a free agent during the offseason.
“I’ve never had that opportunity,” he said. “That’s one thing I want to do is get to the playoffs. I’m tired of sitting at home watching everybody else play. So I brought my butt up here.”
Now he’s got to be a big part of getting there.
“It’s all about winning in December. That’s a big thing,” Vernon said of the lessons learned in Miami. “You have to be able to take things by the reins in December. Basically, playoff football starts in December. I’m a big believer in that. That’s where you start separating yourself from everybody else.”