Vernon Named AFC Special Teams Player Of The Week

Posted Oct 31, 2012

Rookie turns in stand out performance against the Jets.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for games of October 25-29, it was announced today by the National Football League.

In the Dolphins’ 30-9 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Vernon turned in an impressive performance as he joined punt returner Nate Jacquet (1999), Wes Welker (2004) and kick returner Ted Ginn (2009) as the only non-kickers to win the award for the Dolphins.

A rookie third-round selection from the University of Miami, Vernon scored his first career touchdown when he recovered a Jimmy Wilson blocked punt in the end zone in the first quarter. It was the first Miami touchdown scored off a blocked punt since Lex Hilliard recovered a punt that was blocked by Chris Clemons against the Buffalo Bills on November 20, 2011, and just the sixth in team history. Vernon then went on to register the first field goal block of his career when he blocked Jets kicker Nick Folk 35-yard attempt at the end of the second. The blocked field goal was the Dolphins first since September 26, 2010 when Yeremiah Bell blocked a 61-yard attempt by Folk.

“I think the last time I blocked a field goal was probably in high school and that’s probably the last time I got a touchdown as well,” Vernon said. “I felt a little gassed at the end of the game, especially when the Jets started running the no-huddle because I was getting snaps on special teams and defense, but it was fun. We brought it to them in special teams more this time than last time.”

It is the first time that a Dolphin has won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades during the 2012 season. The award marks the first time that a Dolphins rookie has won the award since Week 14 of the 2008 season when Dan Carpenter was honored as AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Buffalo Bills on December 7, 2008.

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