FOXBORO – Derrick Henry is a big powerful tailback who grows smaller in space.
At least that was the assessment Patriots coach Bill Belichick made of the Tennessee Titans featured ball carrier this morning.
Containing the 6-3, 247-pound, Henry at the point of attack is the top priority of the Patriots defense going into Saturday night’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Titans.
“He is a hard guy to tackle,” said Belichick. “He runs strong and is powerful and breaks tackles and he is very good in the open field.
“He is elusive and good in space and he can run like a small back in space. He’s has had some long runs, 60 yarders or 65 yarders where he runs through multiple guys and cuts back against the grain.”
Henry was the Titans second round pick in 2016 after capturing the Heisman Trophy and leading Alabama to the FBS championship. Henry played in 16 regular season games with two starts platooning with DeMarco Murray, who has been ruled out of Saturday night’s game due to a knee injury.
Henry rushed for 744 yards on 176 carries with five touchdowns and a long run of 75. He rushed for 156 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown in the Titans 22-21 playoff win at Kansas City on Jan. 6.
“You see him run in the open field very productive so he is more than just a power back,” said Belichick. “He’s a good space back and a very athletic guy who can catch the ball.
“He’s pretty good.”