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Derrick Henry 2019 Outlook


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24 minutes ago, BMcP said:

I would think I should regret a post that would’ve had me banned - unless you feel otherwise?  In which case, feel free to speak up.

 

Oh no, I've been in your shoes before. I get it.

 

king Hendry will feast this weekend.

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3 hours ago, DerrickHenrysCleats said:

 

Oh no, I've been in your shoes before. I get it.

 

king Hendry will feast this weekend.

Glad you get not wanting to write a post that would result in a permanent ban from the. RW forums.  
 

It feels like such a small step from there to comprehending Derrick Henry’s lack of usage as a receiver, but I’m.confident we’ll get there in at least the next  year or two,

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The Tennessee Titans are one win away from playing in the Super Bowl, and their impressive run in the NFL playoffs is due in large part to the play of two former Alabama players.

Running back Derrick Henry has been a wrecking ball for the Titans in their wins over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens, and the play of the former Heisman Trophy-winner has even impressed his Nick Saban, who discussed Henry’s postseason success with Braden Gall and Derrick Mason of the Morning Drive show in Nashville on Wednesday.

“I think that he’s playing, right now for the Titans, like he did when he was here,” Saban said on the Morning Drive. “I think if you go back and look at his junior year here, he gained like 1,700 yards and some of the same features show up now -- great stiff arm, a big, long guy that’s really, really hard to tackle, can make you miss, has tremendous power and -- I think what people miscalculate is -- a guy that big being that fast. But he was really that way here, you all just didn’t see it out of him for several years as he learned and evolved.

“And I think every player -- and Derrick probably went through this when he went from college to the NFL -- when you go from high school to college or college to the NFL, I think there’s sort of an acclimation that you sort of go through to learn a system and figure out how you’ve got to play to be successful at that level. I think it’s a little different. That took a little time, and now that Derrick’s got his opportunity, he’s certainly taking advantage of it.”

With his performance in the Divisional Round, Henry became the only player in NFL history with two games of at least 175 rushing yards in the same postseason, accomplishing the feat in back-to-back weeks. One of five former Heisman Trophy winners in the game, the 2015 winner also became the first NFL player to record three straight games of at least 180 rushing yards.

Henry is playing his best football ahead of a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. Saban explained why he is so difficult to bring down.

“I think two things happen -- I think he gets stronger and stronger,” Saban said. “But I think there’s another factor in that that people don’t realize is the guys on the other side -- I always a secondary coach. When I coached with the Houston Oilers, we have Mike Rozier. He was kind of a big, physical, strong guy, and even in practice, the DBs get tired of tackling a guy like that. The linebackers get tired of tacking a guy like that, aight. So, two things are happening -- he’s getting stronger because he’s a big, physical, strong guy. But the other team’s also getting a little weary of trying to tackle the guy on a consistent basis, and that’s very frustrating.

“And I think there’s really a third factor in that. Football has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, aight. You really kind of build your team -- I don’t care if it’s NFL or college; I know this has happened to us here -- a little bit different because people are spread, there’s more passing. So, you’ve got to have better pass-rushers, you have to have more speed on the field, you’ve got smaller linebackers who can play in space, aight. Well, now you’ve got a team that’s committed to run the ball, it’s no different than defending the wishbone in the old days. You never played against it much, so it was really difficult. Well, you don’t play against teams like the Titans, who have won two games and not passed for 100 yards in either one of those games, and people can’t stop the run. But their team’s really not built that way anymore, aight.

“So, this is kind of an unusual circumstance that I think is hitting on all cylinders for the Titans.”

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I think this statement (below) by Saban is they key to remember for fantasy purposes. I've said it probably 10x in the past year or two on these forums.... sometimes it just takes time for these players to develop. Don't let their first or even second year determine the rest of their NFL (fantasy) career.

“And I think every player -- and Derrick probably went through this when he went from college to the NFL -- when you go from high school to college or college to the NFL, I think there’s sort of an acclimation that you sort of go through to learn a system and figure out how you’ve got to play to be successful at that level. I think it’s a little different. That took a little time, and now that Derrick’s got his opportunity, he’s certainly taking advantage of it.”

Everyone wants immediate success for their rookie or even 2nd year player. Sometimes it just takes time for them to develop or time for them to get their opportunity. Some may remember the thinking that WRs really started to show their form in their 3rd year. That still hold true in a lot of areas and I believe the stacked NFL draft of 2014 WRs ruined the normal FF thinking. People are so quick to write-off players like Henry when they hadn't truly been given the full opportunity and the player may have needed to figure out a few things and how things work in the NFL.

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6 hours ago, DerrickHenrysCleats said:

 

Hendry will also have a lot to say about whether Maholmes will matter this game due to time of possession.

Craziest thing about this run Ten has had since Tannehill took over is you would think they would dominate time of possession.  Its been exact opposite.  They have only had more time of possession in 2 of their 9 wins and are around 27th in league over that time.

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21 hours ago, youngrice said:

Craziest thing about this run Ten has had since Tannehill took over is you would think they would dominate time of possession.  Its been exact opposite.  They have only had more time of possession in 2 of their 9 wins and are around 27th in league over that time.

 

That's interesting. I did watch the games and Tennessee had some pretty quick scores and then had a blocked punt for a TD so time of possession got a little out of whack. I think the game plan is still to grind the clock down with Hendry to keep a better offense off the field.

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You might be able to tackle Derrick Henry. But you're not going to like it.

 

You wince for them already, the breakable souls for the Kansas City Chiefs who have to try to tackle Derrick Henry. The most imposing force left in these NFL playoffs is Henry when he dents a line. By his fourth step, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Tennessee Titans running back is moving at an estimated 21 miles per hour. The defenders who meet that will be promptly and forcibly reminded of what Jim Brown once said: “Make sure when anyone tackles you, he remembers how much it hurts.”

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu remembers. He tackled Henry earlier this season, and thought he’d broken his jaw. He told CBS it was like hitting solid rock. Baltimore Ravens all-pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey felt Henry, in their upset loss to the Titans in the AFC divisional round last week. He recommends that anyone who wants to try it go to the weight room and “get an extra lift in.”

So far, absolutely no one has found a way to slow down Henry’s demolishing forward tilt, much less stop him. He enters the AFC championship game with the momentum of a runaway bus, having run for more than 180 yards in three straight games, the first man in NFL history to do so. Hit him high? He gets you with that stiff arm, long and forceful as a horseman’s lance, such as the one he gave Earl Thomas of the Ravens, saying, “Good to see you, Earl, let’s do this again,” before he left him spinning in the turf. Or, sometimes he’ll just shoulder three or four guys and “carry you for about five more yards,” says Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens, before he sheds you and leaves you crumpled on the field like balls of lint.

 

He’s like one of those guys the kids create on Madden,” Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. “You shouldn’t be able to be that big and run like he does.”

 

 

All things considered, the Chiefs say they have decided to “kill the engine” that is Henry by going low. “You’ve just got to take his legs out,” Hitchens says, “hit him in his thighs and chop him down.”

The problem with that, Hitchens points out, is that those thighs are as heavy as cannonballs. Another problem is Henry’s offensive linemen, a “mean and nasty” crew according to Mathieu, who make it hard to get at his legs. And then there is the fact that Henry simply likes to hit — according to Pro Football Focus, almost 85 percent of his yardage comes after contact.

 

NFL
Perspective

You might be able to tackle Derrick Henry. But you're not going to like it.

 

Titans running back Derrick Henry tries to shake off Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters in last week’s playoff victory. (Nick Wass/Associated Press) Titans running back Derrick Henry tries to shake off Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters in last week’s playoff victory. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)
 
Columnist
January 17, 2020 at 6:33 AM EST

You wince for them already, the breakable souls for the Kansas City Chiefs who have to try to tackle Derrick Henry. The most imposing force left in these NFL playoffs is Henry when he dents a line. By his fourth step, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Tennessee Titans running back is moving at an estimated 21 miles per hour. The defenders who meet that will be promptly and forcibly reminded of what Jim Brown once said: “Make sure when anyone tackles you, he remembers how much it hurts.”

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu remembers. He tackled Henry earlier this season, and thought he’d broken his jaw. He told CBS it was like hitting solid rock. Baltimore Ravens all-pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey felt Henry, in their upset loss to the Titans in the AFC divisional round last week. He recommends that anyone who wants to try it go to the weight room and “get an extra lift in.”

So far, absolutely no one has found a way to slow down Henry’s demolishing forward tilt, much less stop him. He enters the AFC championship game with the momentum of a runaway bus, having run for more than 180 yards in three straight games, the first man in NFL history to do so. Hit him high? He gets you with that stiff arm, long and forceful as a horseman’s lance, such as the one he gave Earl Thomas of the Ravens, saying, “Good to see you, Earl, let’s do this again,” before he left him spinning in the turf. Or, sometimes he’ll just shoulder three or four guys and “carry you for about five more yards,” says Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens, before he sheds you and leaves you crumpled on the field like balls of lint.

 

“He’s like one of those guys the kids create on Madden,” Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. “You shouldn’t be able to be that big and run like he does.”

All things considered, the Chiefs say they have decided to “kill the engine” that is Henry by going low. “You’ve just got to take his legs out,” Hitchens says, “hit him in his thighs and chop him down.”

The problem with that, Hitchens points out, is that those thighs are as heavy as cannonballs. Another problem is Henry’s offensive linemen, a “mean and nasty” crew according to Mathieu, who make it hard to get at his legs. And then there is the fact that Henry simply likes to hit — according to Pro Football Focus, almost 85 percent of his yardage comes after contact.

“We want it gritty,” Henry said after dispatching the Patriots. “We want it dirty.”

 

Maybe the best idea for how to bring down Henry came from cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, back when he was in college at Florida and Henry was Alabama’s Heisman Trophy winner.

“Just hold on,” Hargreaves said then, “and wait for the team to get there.”

Henry’s development into the X-factor this postseason has laid waste to defensive strategy. There is nothing very cute about what Henry and the Titans do to defenders. They just destroy your will. Back in Week 10, when the Titans beat the Chiefs, 35-32, behind 188 yards from Henry, Coach Mike Vrabel described their end-game plan. It was simply this: “pound out 10-, 11-, 12-yard runs, and then ultimately watch those guys leave the game, or be on a knee, or be tired, or be banged up, and then walk into the end zone,” Vrabel said.

 

You can see the result of all that repetitive battering, how a team breaks, in Henry’s numbers. He averages a whomping 6.6 yards per carry in the third quarter of games.

 

“Second-half football, he takes off,” Mathieu says. “So we got to be well-rested, hydrated in order to kind of finish the game, try to compete against him and slow him down when it matters the most in the fourth quarter — four-minute drives, six-minute drives, seven minutes left.”

Defenses fall under the illusion that Henry actually gets stronger as the game wears on. But as former Alabama teammate Jake Coker has said, it’s more a case of: “He stays the same, everybody else changes.”

 

Former Michigan State defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett, whose team faced Henry in the 2015 college football playoffs, described it this way: “You get tired of hitting that big back,” he said. “Boom. Again. Here he comes again. Boom. Again and again and again. And so you have to have the mental toughness to be able to say: ‘Hold on. We’re going to hold up, and we’re going to keep smacking him. Keep hitting him.’ ”

 

That’s if you can get your hands on him. Compounding his weightiness and his speed — 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash — is his ability to cut back and make defenders miss in space. And as if those traits weren’t enough to deal with, there is his long stride. At 6-foot-3, he eats up the yard lines like his legs are hungry for dirt.

 

Someone at Alabama once measured that stride. In full lope, Henry covers 7.5 feet per step. Think about that for a second: That’s two and half yards per stride. It’s 10 yards in just four steps. “If we can get him into his fourth or fifth step, we feel very confident in his ability and our ability to gain meaningful yards,” Vrabel said. And once he breaks a tackle, he’s gone. On 23 occasions this season, he's burst upfield for 15 yards or longer, most in the league. 

 

“He doesn’t get caught much,” Patriots Coach Bill Belichick observed.

 

Finally, there is Henry’s capacity for a daunting workload. He’s carried the ball 96 times in his past three games, a scarcely believable rate in this era of balance offense. But for him, it’s normal. Back in high school in Yulee, Fla., he regularly carried 40 or more times a game, and the trend continued at Alabama.

Most coaches generally prefer not to work a back more than 20 or 25 times for fear of compromising fumbles. But late in his Heisman season at Alabama, he carried 46 times against Auburn, followed by 44 carries against Florida just a week later. The coaches would muse about whether he needed a rest. “But you see the body language,” Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin said then. They realized Henry liked it.

 

" I get in a rhythm, the more carries I get,” he says.

His endurance prompted a Southwest Airlines Twitter handler to have a little fun this week. Asked whether the airline planned any extra flights between Nashville and Kansas City, the airline agent wrote:

“Though we don’t have any plans to add additional routes, we are pretty sure that Derrick Henry would just put you on his back and run you there.”

 

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22 hours ago, youngrice said:

Craziest thing about this run Ten has had since Tannehill took over is you would think they would dominate time of possession.  Its been exact opposite.  They have only had more time of possession in 2 of their 9 wins and are around 27th in league over that time.

They had one of the highest % of explosive plays in the league. Their defense also did a lot of bend but don't break.

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5 hours ago, cashvillesent said:

They had one of the highest % of explosive plays in the league. Their defense also did a lot of bend but don't break.

Indeed - I’d highly recommend this analysis which provides an excellent explanation of why the Tannehill Titans have managed so many explosive plays (and why the Patriots had the right idea on defense in their playoff matchup): 

https://www.sharpfootballanalysis.com/analysis/slow-down-derrick-henry-titans-stacked-box/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

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1 hour ago, DerrickHenrysCleats said:

 

Can't fix stupid. Why on earf would you say this?

Maybe to inspire his teammates?  It’s no secret that defenders have been reluctant to seriously attempt to tackle him for the most part.

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2 hours ago, DerrickHenrysCleats said:

Goodnight, sweet prince.

Henry put that team on his back and did everything he could to win that game. Wasn't enough against a team that can score at will though. And Tannehill had his struggles.

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