Tennessee Titans, from good to great: Derrick Henry
By Will Lomas
Why Derrick Henry‘s development is so important to the Tennessee Titans in 2019.
Derrick Henry is one of the most well known and well liked players on Tennessee Titans, just ask anyone in the South who has watched him since his early Alabama days.
For all of his notoriety, you would expect that he was either a phenomenal player or a bust. Really though, he isn’t in either one of these categories and with a year left to go on his rookie contract the Titans need to find out exactly what they have in him.
Honestly, until the last month of last season I thought I had figured out who Henry was. Time and time again I said that Henry was a running back who needed a big runway to build up momentum, but if you could give him that then he was going to be able to threat defenses with homerun ability.
His inconsistencies inside the tackles and his habit of stopping his feet too often in the hole were big flaws in his game.
All of that is still true, but he showed something in those last five weeks that we had never seen from him before: consistency.
We aren’t just talking about one good play here or there, there were entire games where you could feel the urgency that the defense had, trying to make contact with him early in the play before he could build up that momentum that he wielded like a hammer.
Henry finally looked like the dominant force that he has all the tools to be. Unfortunately, that’s when the season ended for the Titans.
More from Titans News
- Tennessee Titans suspiciously quiet about major draft need
- Tennessee Titans agree to new deal with star Jeffery Simmons
- Caesars Promo Code Expires Soon – Claim $1,250 Today
- 3 needs that are being overblown by Tennessee Titans fans
- Tennessee Titans have potential dilemmas in 2023 NFL Draft
Just like that, with plenty left in the tank Henry’s monstrous December was over and now we are left with questions. The biggest of those questions being, can he keep that up in 2019?
The Titans theme this offseason has been, “Good to Great” meaning that they aren’t content with just winning anymore. It is time to go into the playoffs and win games there, finally bringing some respect back to the Titans name.
To do that, one of the biggest things than has to happen is Henry becoming more consistent as a runner. The Titans can’t live off of a running back who disappears for half of a season even if he is dominant when he comes back.
With Marcus Mariota seemingly one hit away from injury at any given moment, the Titans are begging for the running game to step up and take some of the load off of the passing game.
Arthur Smith has talked about physical football and has given out all the cliches, and for the most part people are so ready to call him a run-heavy OC without ever seeing him call a play. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If Derrick Henry is consistent and can be a threat to defenses, then the passing game can get some help just from him being on the field.
We have seen the flashes from Henry and we even got a hint of what he could be, so the most important thing that he can add to his game this offseason is consistency. If the Titans finally get that from him then he will be a big piece in their efforts to get over that hump and become great.