Sunday afternoon, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry continued his dominant 2020 season with 215 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He continued to lead the league in rushing and remained on pace for a nearly 2,000-yard season while sparking comments from a prominent musician. Jason Isbell, the man responsible for "Cover Me Up," reminisced about meeting Henry during the running back's college career at Alabama.
"Once at a college game, I stood eye-to-chin with Derrick Henry (I’m 6’1”) while he did pregame warmups and I thought 'If this guy can cut, he’s gonna run all over everybody for a long time.' He could cut," Isbell tweeted on Sunday. Many other people chimed in and listed similar interactions with the standout running back, saying that they did not want to be the defender trying to tackle Henry.
Sooooo Derrick Henry is the running back version of Von Miller pic.twitter.com/YAUfIyQ4TA— SportsNation (@SportsNation) February 26, 2016
Heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, there were several discussions about Henry's size. He was one of the biggest athletes at 247 pounds and looked more like a linebacker than a running back. In fact, the NFL Network crew at the NFL Scouting Combine continued to show size comparisons that featured a photo of Henry next to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
The fantasy experts also released comments about Henry saying that he was unable to "cut by/juke" defenders during his Alabama career. This analysis fits with Isbell's comments but didn't ultimately become much of an issue once Henry started his NFL career. He has become one of the league's most dominant players.
Henry wasn't the full-time starter in Tennessee during his first two seasons due to the presence of DeMarco Murray. However, he took over the job in 2018 and immediately became a pivotal part of the offense. In three seasons with the Nashville franchise, Henry has topped 1,000 yards rushing three times and has registered two seasons with more than 1,500 while earning Pro Bowl honors once.
Henry has used his size to his advantage during the latter portions of the season, including the playoffs. In 2019, he propelled the upstart team to a victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Henry rushed for 182 yards and one touchdown while breaking multiple tackles in the process. Henry continued this trend in the Divisional Round during a victory over the Baltimore Ravens, rushing for another 195 yards. He also threw a touchdown pass.
The Titans' star in Henry has not been a perennial All-Pro during his relatively young career, but he has been an integral part of the offense. He also proved Isbell correct by learning to cut. He took this ability and paired it with his size and speed to become nigh-unstoppable.