New Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry cast a big shadow in Tuscaloosa, Alabama last season as he played a major role in leading the University of Alabama football team to another national championship. He is doing the same thing in Nashville and he has yet to record a carry for the Titans.
The second round pick- No.45 overall- in last month's NFL Draft reported to St. Thomas Sports Park on Monday with the remainder of his rookie class to begin their life as professional football players and Henry almost immediately became the talk of the town and the team.
On Wednesday the media got an opportunity to speak with several members of the Titans following the team's morning organized team activities, and the one question everyone was asked involved Henry.
At 6'3", 247 pounds, it's easy to see how Henry garners immediate attention, but he is in a locker room full of other equally large men. The thing about Henry is the fact that he is a running back, and when evaluating his size compared to the other backs on the Titans roster, the difference immediately evident.
Contrast Henry to his new backfield mate, DeMarco Murray, is an impressive physical specimen of a running back who stands 6'0", 217 pounds. That's three inches and thirty pounds smaller that Henry.
So, far his new teammates have only seen him in pads on TV as a player for the Crimson Tide and in shorts in person, but that has been more than enough for even some veterans to be impressed.
Delanie Walker, who himself is a big man at 6'0", 248, said he usually doesn’t talk to rookies until they make the team, but immediately noticed his new Titans’ teammate.
“You know, he’s a big dude! I have got to put him in his place early. I’m just messing with him. You know giving him a hard time, because I feel like he’s going to be a monster for this team,” Walker said.
Cornerback Brice McCain has also noticed Henry.
“Oh, he’s a big dude! Man, he’s big, so, straight ahead. He’s going to be a problem. He’s a good addition to this team. I think he’ll really help us out,” McCain said.
The one thing McCain didn't say, but was likely thinking is that he is glad he won't have to try to tackle Henry in the open field in a real game.
Henry and is rookie teammates will be on the field for the first time on Friday, that session is open to the media and Henry will likely be a focal point of that workout.