“I feel like when he came in, everything changed for me. The playing style, the culture he’s brought in here…My mentality is his mentality.” – Henry on playing for Titans head coach Mike Vrabel
Coverage of Titans-Chiefs Begins with Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET; Followed by 8:20 p.m. ET Kickoff on NBC, Peacock and Universo
STAMFORD, Conn. – Nov. 6, 2022 – In advance of tonight’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry spoke to Maria Taylor for Football Night in America, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock.
Henry discussed playing for head coach Mike Vrabel, compared his style of play to Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell, broke down the anatomy of a strong stiff arm, and more. Click here to watch the full interview, portions of which will air in tonight’s FNIA. Following are highlights of the FULL interview:
On playing for Titans head coach Mike Vrabel
“I love it. I feel like when he came in, everything changed for me. The playing style, the culture he’s brought in here. He’s played the game at a high level, everything he preaches every day we all love, and we all buy into it. I love the style that we play – physicality and being relentless in what we do, making each other better every day. My mentality is his mentality.”
On who would win in an Oklahoma Drill between Henry and Vrabel
“Oh, we always talk trash to each other. I would win, for sure. I would definitely win (laughs).”
On the anatomy of a good stiff arm
“If you get one-on-one with an opponent — in this league, everybody usually stiff arms or does something — usually a DB is ready for it and try to break it down. So, you’ve got to make sure you time it up right, right before they get up on you and are able to grab you. You’ve just got to put it out there and be able to push them off before they get too close to your body and are able to tackle you or get one your body parts…If you just be physical with it and have some anger and aggression to it, it usually works.”
On practicing his stiff arm
“We practice it. Because I’ve done it so much, we have a helmet that I stiff arm every day before practice so it’s just repetition. Coach Vrabel is big on that. If he sees you doing it in a game, he wants you to keep on working on it especially if it’s effective.”
On the importance of the run game in today’s NFL
“It’s a QB-friendly league, but I still think you have to run the ball to be a complete team and to be able to dominate your opponent. I think nothing is more dominating than moving guys off the line of scrimmage and running the football over and over again where they can’t stop it even when they know it’s coming.”
On his game resembling any other running backs
“Growing up, I always watched NFL Network, NFL Films, and you know, me being taller and people saying, ‘He’s too tall to play running back,’ I started looking more into that and Eric Dickerson – when I saw film of him running and how dominant he was when he was playing, I became a big fan quickly of his style of play…I always said I wanted to do something like what he did one day If I ever had the chance to make it to the NFL.”
On Earl Campbell
“He was a bruiser…He ran tough, he ran hard, he was fast, he was durable. Any running back you want to model your game after, it’s definitely him if you want to be physical, attacking and make defenders feel every tackle when you’re running the ball.”
On his grandmother, Gladys Henry
“She’s my rock. Somebody who raised me since I was a little boy. Who sacrificed everything for our family, all her kids, who taught me everything I know today. She stepped in when my mom and dad were young and trying to finish school and she was there to help in any type of way and taught me a lot about life…Somebody I cherish still to this day and remember everything that she taught me that I can instill in my daughter as well.”
Football Night in America is hosted by Maria Taylor and features Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, former NFL head coach Jason Garrett, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, NFL Insider Mike Florio, and fantasy sports industry pioneer Matthew Berry. This week’s show is also co-hosted by Kathryn Tappen.
Football Night, the most-watched studio show in sports since its debut in 2006, begins every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The coordinating producer of FNIA is Matt Casey. FNIA is directed by Kaare Numme.
–FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA–