Nashville, Tenn. – Derrick Henry has patiently waited for his chance to shine and now heading into his third NFL season the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner will have his chance.
Henry isn’t sharing any specific goals for yards or touchdowns, but the Tennessee Titans running back made one thing clear: He is looking forward to a big season.
“I definitely want to be dominant this year,” Henry said, adding that he plans to make the most of any opportunities he gets. The former Alabama standout said he just wants to “make plays for this offense, be a consistent back. Make plays any chance that I’m in there and just do what I’m asked.”
And above all else, Henry wants to “help this team win games.”
The soft-spoken Henry gave a glimpse of just what he could do in the NFL in the Titans’ comeback victory in Kansas City, running for 156 yards for the second-best playoff performance in franchise history.
But Henry doesn’t define being dominant by putting up big numbers.
Henry’s definition is “having a great game every game and have an impact every game at my position. … How I make plays and what I do throughout the game to help this team win.”
There were questions why general manager Jon Robinson used his third pick in the second round in 2016 to select Henry only weeks after trading for DeMarco Murray, the 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Turned out to be a good move; the Titans cut Murray in March after his production dropped last season.
They also signed Dion Lewis to join Henry in the backfield, but the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry led the Titans with 744 yards rushing last season despite starting only two games and getting eight fewer carries than Murray.
“Dion’s a great guy, and we’ve been getting along very well,” Henry said. “Very excited to have a tandem together.”
The Titans aren’t saying who will start at running back. Tennessee plays Aug. 9 at Green Bay the regular season opener is Sept. 9 at Miami.
Lewis was signed for his skills catching passes out of the backfield to fit the new offense being installed by coordinator Matt LaFleur. Henry didn’t have as much of a chance to showcase his hands in college with just 17 catches, but he did have 35 yards receiving in last year’s wild-card game in Kansas City.
That helped Henry set a franchise-record in the postseason with 191 yards from scrimmage, topping the mark of 178 yards set by Billy Cannon on Jan. 1, 1961, in the AFL.
First-year head coach Mike Vrabel said everyone is working for a starting job.
“As we continue to work through the offense and through the plays and the complimentary type of football that we want to run, some of those things will sort themselves out. The plays that we like with Dion and the plays that we like with Derrick are going to start to emerge,” Vrabel said.
Ryan likely done for 2018
Green Bay Packers linebacker Jake Ryan (Michigan) has a torn ACL and is likely out for the season, according to multiple reports, including one from ESPN.
The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder Ryan, a fourth-round pick in 2015, started 12 games last season and had 79 tackles.
“Yeah, it’s tough, just seeing how much he had put into it in preparation. Unfortunately that’s part of it, and you feel for him, but at the same time, I mean, the train keeps moving,” Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told ESPN.
Veteran receivers Brandon Tate and Michael Floyd joined practice at New Orleans Saints training camp, bolstering a receiver corps thinned by injuries and adding to the mix of players competing in the return game.
New Orleans also activated veteran tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.
... Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jack Mewhort unexpectedly announced his retirement Wednesday.
... The Dallas Cowboys have activated defensive end Randy Gregory after a year away on a substance-abuse suspension.
... The Seattle Seahawks signed guard J.R. Sweezy.