Titans coach Mike Vrabel gives honest answer when asked about trying to tackle Derrick Henry in his prime
Tue, Aug 2, 2022
NFL News (AP)
Before becoming a successful NFL head coach, Mike Vrabel was a standout linebacker who won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. Vrabel's playing career also included an All-Pro nod in 2007 while helping the Patriots record a perfect regular-season record.'
But if he had to face Titans star running back Derrick Henry in his prime, Vrabel doesn't think he would have fared too well. Henry, who was first asked about clashing with his head coach, said it would be "a fun matchup." It's safe to say that his coach doesn't share that sentiment.'
"Oh, he'd probably fall forward for the first down," Vrabel said on NFL Network. "He'd outrun me, for sure ... I guarantee you he'd take off and outrun me to the sideline."'
Vrabel's concession is not an indictment of his ability as a player. It's more so a sign of how dominant of a player Henry has been to this point in his career. The 2020 AP Offensive Player of the Year, Henry won back-to-back rushing titles in 2019-20 while also pacing the NFL in rushing touchdowns over that span.'Derrick Henry TEN - RB - 22 View Profile
Last year, Henry was on pace to become the first player in league history to rush for 2,000 yards in multiple seasons before an injury prematurely ended his regular season after just eight games. While he was clearly not 100%, Henry returned for the playoffs, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in Tennessee's divisional round playoff loss to the Bengals.'
When asked if he will adjust Henry's workload this season, Vrabel essentially said that the Titans will again rely on Henry to do the heavy lifting this season if the situation calls for it.'
"The plan always is to do what's best for each player and obviously for the team," Vrabel said. "That will be the plan throughout training camp, trying to get him some work but, obviously, keeping the regular season in mind. Then, once we get to the games, it's about us winning and it's about getting Derrick going at a volume that he needs and we all think he needs to be effective."'
The Titans are surely hoping to complement Henry with a potent passing attack that underwent various changes this this offseason. The team parted ways with A.J. Brown and Julio Jones and replaced them with veteran Robert Woods and rookie first-round pick Treylon Burks. Optimism around Burks has risen following his strong start to training camp.'
"I would say that he's gotten better from the time that we've gotten him," Vrabel said of his rookie wideout. "There's always going to be mistakes. I think he's done a tremendous job of learning from those mistakes and being able to work through some of those things."'