Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry ‘motivated’ by playoff losses, doubters

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nothing would stop Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry from taking the field last Tuesday for the start of the minicamp.

There are plenty of reasons why Henry is motivated on his way into the season, but the losses in the division’s playoffs to the Cincinnati Bengals are a major source of that fuel for him and others on the team.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill said the loss has given him a “desire to win that he has never had before.”

Henry said he felt the same way.

“It definitely gave me nourishment out of season,” said Henry, who led the NFL in rushing two seasons ago with 2,027 yards and rushed 937 yards in eight games last season before a Jones foul made him miss of the last nine matches in the regular. season.

Henry looked like a motivated man when temperatures hit 100 degrees at the minicamp and he still got into extra work with running back coach Tony Dews while the rest of the team participated in the special teams period. Henry did a little extra conditioning later in the workout.

“Someone could motivate me and would not even know it,” Henry said. “The doubters, whatever they want to be, I’m definitely motivated. I’m ready to go. So we’ll see.”

Henry remained in constant contact with the coaches, but was not into volunteer OTAs because he chose to train on his own. It allowed him to continue the routine he started before his 2,000-yard trotting season in 2020, which was usually two or three workouts a day.

The clips of Henry’s unique workout on social media have attracted a lot of attention.

“Derrick is obviously built differently,” Tannehill said. “There are not many guys walking around the planet Earth who look like Derrick. The things he can do are the next level in many areas. It’s always fun to see what he’s doing out there. He pushes on the envelope and holds things are interesting. “

Henry moved quite well through individual exercises and showed no limitations as he went through the full workout.

Henry said he has been working on his strength and conditioning along with exercises to get him ready for the season. There has also been a focus on rehabilitating the injured foot, which Henry says is good for walking.

“I have worked with [physical therapist] Luke Miller, who worked under the guy who performed my surgery, “Henry said.” Makes a lot of footwork. Finds my toes, he always tells me that when I train. All sorts of different things, just so I balance my foot. I enjoy running hills, running limited, being on the court and catching the ball. “

NFL running backs are expected to drop off as they approach 30. At 28, Henry has plenty of performances under his belt. He is one of seven backs in NFL history rushing for 2,000 or more yards in a season. He was the offensive player of the year in 2020, and he is a two-time NFL champion.

None of that means anything on the way into the season.

“We started over,” Dews said. “Every year is a new year. He understands that what he achieved in the past is the past. It’s not what you did last year, it’s what you want to do going forward.”

A big season would mean more financial security next season for Henry, who only has $ 3 million in guaranteed money by 2023. The Titans have reportedly been open to an extension to provide some security. It would be music to Henry’s ears.

“It’s always good to get a promotion at your job,” Henry said. “I’m trying to work through it. Currently under contract, but if that’s what the future holds, it would be great.”

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