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Summer Q&A with DE Olivier Vernon

Posted Jul 11, 2016

Giants.com chats with players for a Summer Q&A about all things Big Blue:  

Get excited. July is the last month without NFL games.

As you -- and Giants players -- enjoy summer vacations, the 2016 season is right around the corner. After reporting for training camp on July 28, the Giants will open the preseason on Aug. 12 vs. Miami and kick off Week 1 at Dallas on Sept. 11.

>> READ: 30 QUESTIONS IN 30 DAYS

Leading up to the team's return to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, Giants.com caught up with some members of the team for a quick Q&A about all things Big Blue.  

Today, we have:

DE Olivier Vernon

Q: When you walked into the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, what is it like coming to an organization with so much history at your position?

A: Walking through the doors from Day 1, you see everything on the walls, you see all the history, and just the name alone, it carries itself. Watching as a kid, the guys that have done it before, especially established on the defensive line for years, for decades pretty much, it’s an honor being able to be a part of it and being able to just play for this organization that’s known for having great defensive lines.

Q: What does pride mean to you?

A: Pride means everything to me. My family’s very prideful, my dad’s very prideful, my mom, so you know growing up, everything I did pretty much is representing my family. I took a lot of pride in that as far as when it comes to playing football, having your last name on your jersey and everybody sees that, and I just always upheld having 'Vernon' on my back. Being out there, it’s the first thing people see. They don’t see our faces, they don’t see any of that, you just see that name, and I feel like it’s a big thing, especially coming into this organization because it’s a very prideful organization itself. I’m just glad I can be a part of it right now.  

Q: How important is it to you to give back to the community?

A: I see it as you get blessed in so many different ways, and the biggest thing to do is give those blessings back, just from any little thing that you can do, as far as having a camp or just doing something for the kids. They see it as they only see you on TV, they don’t think it’s possible to actually see you and see your flesh, and they see that you actually care about them and it’s actually possible, you know it’s not something that’s out of reach. So I think that’s the biggest thing you can do is when it comes down to giving back to your community. I’m not going to say it’s part of the job, but it just comes with everything, it comes with being a role model, even if you don’t consider yourself one, but these kids out here, they look at us as that, because everybody loves football. I see it as everybody loves football, you know everybody wants to be a football player or an athlete, so I say that’s the biggest thing, that’s one thing I try to do throughout my whole career, just try to give back to my community.

Q: In the time you’ve gotten to know him, what does Jason Pierre-Paul mean to this organization?

A: From the outside looking in even when I wasn’t here, you could tell he would just make plays. He’s a respected individual on the team and coming here and getting to know him, I felt I got embraced with open arms pretty much by all the guys and especially JPP. When it comes down to it, being able to practice alongside of him, he’s trying to get after it. I spoke to him before I even came aboard and he has a set plan in place, and he’s trying to prove himself, and when it comes down to it, it’s about proving yourself each and every year. And what he has going against him right now, he’s just trying to prove everybody wrong. And… to play alongside a guy like that, that has accolades already, and that’s what you need, you know that’s what you need in a leader, especially in the D-line room. We’ve got a lot of young guys and a lot of young guys look up to him and I just can’t wait to take this field when it comes down to it on game day.

Q: There’s a new head coach and you’re a big piece of what the Giants are trying to do. How does that make you feel in being part of a new era?

A: I’m just going to do what I know I can do. I’m not going to try to do something that’s outside of my comfort zone. They brought me here for a reason and I know pretty much I’m going to stay true to myself. I know what I can do, I know my strengths and weaknesses, and you know when it comes down to it, it’s about playing together. You could have all the pieces on paper and it all looks good, you know, but when it comes down to it, it’s about everybody being able to play together and having that chemistry and having it pan out on the field.