Derrick Henry Eases Ravens Concerns

As usual, Baltimore Ravens running back Derrick Henry has erased all doubts about him.
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA;  Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) takes the field during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguarsat Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) takes the field during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguarsat Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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Even for a player as accomplished as Baltimore Ravens running back Derrick Henry, joining a new team after so long comes with challenges.

Henry, 30, spent the first eight years of his career with the Tennessee Titans, but now heads to the Chesapeake Bay for his next chapter. In doing so, he's chosen to enter an entirely different scheme than what he's used to.

According to ESPN, Baltimore has run more plays in the pistol or shotgun formations over the past five years (4,886) than any other NFL team. Comparatively, Tennessee had its quarterbacks line up under center much more often than the average team.

That's a big change for Henry, so much so that Ravens running backs coach Willie Taggart was initially worried about how he'd fare in this scheme.

"You know what? Coming in, I ... [After] watching the film in Tennessee, that was a concern; like, 'We're in the [shotgun], and we run from the gun, and how would Derrick [Henry] be in it?' Taggart told reporters Wednesday.

As usual with Henry though, the former Offensive Player of the Year eased any concerns Taggart had once they got some time to really work together.

"[I saw] the big man move his feet, and I'm like, 'Woah.' It's really impressive for a guy that size to move the way he does," Taggart said. "And he's got, not necessarily Zay Flowers' feet, but from a big guy, he's pretty swifty on his feet and [has] great vision and all.

"But seeing him do it from the gun, I don't have any ... I don't think we'll have any problem doing it. And, we'll also be under center. We do some things under center, as well. But Derrick is an athlete. He's a big athlete, and I don't think he'll have any problem with anything we ask him to do.

Henry is certainly a special player in every sense of the word. He has not only had a very long career at a position that has a notoriously short shelf life, but he's one of the most-difficult players in the entire league to bring down. For a player like him, adjusting to a different scheme was easy work.

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO