Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry has become one of the league’s top running backs under Mike Vrabel’s watch.
Now, Vrabel is making the most of that fact in more ways than one. The Tennessee Titans are 8-3 and appear primed not only for an AFC South Division title but a second consecutive deep playoff run.
Vrabel just hinted at how Henry and his teammates can accomplish that goal, and it’s a method that opponents should start fearing.
Derrick Henry is having another historic season
It has been business as usual for Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans, and that fact is troubling for other teams.
After winning the NFL rushing title last year, Henry ran for an NFL-high 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns on 4.9 yards per carry in the Titans’ first 11 games this season.
Henry enters a Week 13 showdown with the Cleveland Browns as the NFL’s rushing leader. Henry’s 1,257 yards lead Minnesota Vikings star Dalvin Cook’s 1,130 rushing yards, and they are the only players who have topped 1,000 rushing yards this season.
Teams hoping that Henry would take a step back after his breakout 2019 season should rightfully be disappointed. Henry is historically at his best in December and in the postseason, too, so football fans should strap in for what is ahead.
Henry has grown under Mike Vrabel’s tutelage
The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama, Derrick Henry spent his first two NFL seasons backing up DeMarco Murray.
Things changed in 2018 when the Titans hired Mike Vrabel as the new head coach. Murray left in free agency and eventually retired, moves that sealed Henry’s place as the Titans’ new starting running back.
Henry ran for 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns, including a 99-yard score, in 2018. That set up Henry’s breakout 2019 season when he led the NFL in rushing yards (1,540) and rushing touchdowns (16).
Henry earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors after the 2019 season ended.
Mike Vrabel has an idea to make Derrick Henry even better
Although he is best known for running the ball, Derrick Henry is a capable receiving threat, too.
Henry has 71 career catches for 671 yards and three touchdowns. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel wants those numbers to go up, and fast.
According to Broadway Sports, Vrabel recently explained his next goal for Henry and the Titans’ offense is getting him more involved in the passing game.
“We have to be able to throw the ball to him. We would like to continue to work on the screen game with him, but teams have defended it well. Maybe [Titans] haven’t run them well. He has a unique skill set, but we need to do a better job than just handing it off to him.”
Henry has 14 receptions for 93 yards this season.
At this point, Vrabel is toying with his enemies. Derrick Henry has grown into an unstoppable force and now, of all times, Vrabel wants to turn Henry into an elite receiver?
If the Titans pull that feat off in the season’s final weeks, fans may want to start picking Nashville to host a Super Bowl parade in February. That’s just our feeling.