Ravens running back Derrick Henry: ‘My job is being explosive’

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens running back Derrick Henry isn’t showing any signs of slowing down entering his ninth year in the NFL.

He attacked every drill in the voluntary Organized Team Activities and mandatory minicamp with the enthusiasm of a rookie. Henry also was texting his coaches and watching film to figure out ways to get better.

“I think it’s that, more than anything – for a guy that’s played this long and at the level that [Henry]’s played at to come in here and still [be] hungry, still wanting to learn,” Ravens running back coach Willie Taggart said. “He is not coming in here feeling like, ‘Hey, I’ve done this; I’ve done that.’ You don’t see any of that. It seems like he’s been a Raven all his life. He can fit in the room seamlessly.

“He’s been awesome. You kind of assume [that] a guy that’s had that much success will come in and have his way of doing things, and Derrick wants to understand how we’re doing it, and he wants to do everything he can to help this football team win a championship.”

In March, the Ravens signed Henry to a two-year, $16 million contract worth up to $20 million, including $9 million fully guaranteed in the first year. He is expected to be a huge boost to a running attack that was already ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

Henry turned 30 on January 4th, but he is still a dominant player. The Ravens will try to make another deep run in the playoffs next season, and Henry elevates their chances.

Henry has run for at least 1,00 yards and 12 touchdowns in five of the last six seasons. He also led the NFL in rushing in 2019 (1,540), and in 2020, when he became the eighth running back in NFL history to register more than 2,000 rushing yards in a single season (2,027).

Over eight NFL seasons, Henry has run for 9,502 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per carry, with 90 touchdowns.

“My job is being explosive, making explosive runs, being a threat in the run game and anywhere else they ask me to help out this offense,” Henry said. “So, it’s just [on] me [to] focus on doing my job, just so I’m a threat to opposing defenses.” 

The one-two punch of Henry and quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to be dominant. Jackson is capable of making plays with his passing and running.

That should make it more difficult for defenses to game-plan against the Ravens.

“It definitely brings a different aspect, because [Jackson] is a dual-threat quarterback, and he’s [as] dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm,” Henry said. “It’s going to be fun and a breath of fresh air not being the center of attention, knowing that eyes are going to be on him, as well. But I’m just excited to get to work and put the work in out here and let it all come together when it’s that time.”


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