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Arthur Smith: Titans Will Ride Derrick Henry This Year

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OILERMAN   
39 minutes ago, japan said:

God help us

He's one of the question marks going into the season for sure 

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Mythos27   
31 minutes ago, japan said:

At that point in the season he seemed to only be effective in the 4th. They had him on the trading block!

How can that be possible when just one year before he ran for 308 yards on  60 carries for 5.1 ypc in the first half of all games vs 182 yards on 50 carries for 3.6 ypc in the second half of all games? If the talk was just "man, Henry is really struggling in the first half of games. What's going on?" that would've been fine. What people essentially said instead was "All Henry can do is be a closer against tired defenses". It was lazy reasoning.  The idea that he could only run well against tired defenses was dumb from the start because he had already shown he could produce just fine in the first half of games just a year before.

 

The Bills actually traded Marshawn Lynch. The Eagles actually traded Shady McCoy. I guess that means they suck too...

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3 hours ago, OILERMAN said:

Mularkey played a washed up Murray and Vrabel played an ineffective Lewis in the base sets, they both didn't make "gaffs". There is a reason neither staff wanted Henry on run/pass downs. 

Those would be called mistakes.  Every coach makes them, even the better ones.  

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OILERMAN   
6 hours ago, StephenIsLegend said:

Those would be called mistakes.  Every coach makes them, even the better ones.  

When both staffs do something there is likely a reason

 

Saying both of them made the same mistake seems presumptuous 

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nine   

After watching a considerable amount of film of the 2018 season,  I believe Henry's limitations in the passing game are greatly overstated.   

 

In 2016 & 2017, Henry's struggles in pass protection were well-documented.   In 2018 he improved significantly and was very reliable in pass protection, although his  opportunities were limited.   I've reviewed quite a bit of all-22 footage from the 2018 regular season and found several plays where Henry diagnosed and picked up a blitz....but none where he gave up a sack or allowed a pressure.   (He did allow one in preseason...although even that one was debatable, as it was actually Kline's man;   Henry couldn't respond quickly enough after Kline whiffed on the guy.)

 

As a receiver, Henry has shown the basic skills that would be required of any pass-catching RB:   he has reliable hands (83% catch rate in 2018) and he runs the routes that are typically associated with the position...screens, flares, check-downs, etc.  I won't pretend to know the finer points of the RB position or its role in the passing game...but has far as the basic fundamental requirements go, Henry's solid.

 

The passing game obviously isn't Henry's strongest area, but there's certainly no reason to think he'd be a limiting factor.   

 

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OILERMAN   
51 minutes ago, nine said:

 but there's certainly no reason to think he'd be a limiting factor. 

Two coaching staffs are the reason to think it

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MIKE75   
On 7/17/2019 at 1:20 PM, OILERMAN said:

Henry is in his last year, no reason not to run him into the ground 

Will be interesting to see what we do if we literally ride him with 350 carries and he gaines 1,500 yards against loaded boxes all year and gets us to the postseason where we win another wild card and come close to making the AFC title game. IF that does happen i could see us tagging him one more year while getting ready for the future drafting a new RB early like we did Henry.

 

One thing you can say about the Tennessee Titans we have had a lot of luck with RB our 20 years in Nashville.

 

Eddie George retiring with 10,000 yards rushing career wise playing 7 years without missing a game for TN.

 

Chris Johnson had a 2,000 yard season and holds the NFL record for most yardage gained in one year rushing/receiving combined 2.509 yards,CJ also holds the NFL record for most runs for a RB over 80 yards with six. CJ had 10,000 yards (8000 running,2000 receiving) his 6 years in TN never missing a game. Only player in NFL history with a touchdown of 50 yards, 60 yards, and 90 yards in one game.

 

Derrick Henry holds the NFL record for longest run ever 99 yards set in 2018 as well as first player in NFL history to record a 200+ yard and 4+ touchdown game on fewer than 22 carries

 

Between Eddie/CJ they altogether 13 years in Tennessee without missing a game so both were very durable.

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Soxcat   
1 hour ago, OILERMAN said:

Two coaching staffs are the reason to think it

Just using the eye ball test you can see that Henry wasn't the problem.  His speed, vision, power didn't change.  Getting him the ball with decent blocking did.  If the coaching staff was blaming Henry for the running game problems early on they were simply wrong. 

 

Under Mularkey it was more of a misjudgment on Murray than Henry.  Murray did so many things really well including the passing game they trusted him too long.  Remember, we have a glass QB so decisions get made in favor of protecting him.   

 

You can say all you want but if they had traded Henry they would have made a huge mistake and he would be running wild for some other team and we would have a 3rd or 4th round pick.  That would have been dumb.

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nine   
2 hours ago, OILERMAN said:

Two coaching staffs are the reason to think it

 

Henry was a known liability in pass protection when Mularkey was here.  

 

Last year, the coaching staff obviously preferred Lewis as the better receiving option.   The problem was that whatever advantages he offered in the passing game were offset by his overall ineffectiveness as a runner... which became a significant detriment to the offense as a whole.    And then when he became ineffective as a receiver down the stretch....it was just downright ugly. 

 

After struggling for the first four weeks, Henry was consistently the better and more productive runner from week 5 on.  He had limited snaps in the passing game but was effective when given the opportunity.

 

Lewis was a quality receiving option for most of the the year...but as a runner he was horribly ineffective aside from 2-3 solid games here and there.   But despite his ongoing inconsistency as a runner, the coaching staff made Lewis their #1 bell cow and kept feeding him even after his production fell off a cliff...to the point where it became downright embarrassing.  

 

Mularkey limited Henry’s reps due to known limitations...which is fine.  He now appears to have fixed those limitations.

 

 Last year’s staff chose to phase Henry out of the offense and go in another direction entirely, despite Henry being the more consistent and productive player week after week.    They sacrificed production in the running game in favor of a slightly better receiving target.   It was a calculated decision by the coaching staff that worked okay for 3-4 weeks....but after that, it fell apart quickly.  And from that point it was a complete disaster.

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4 hours ago, OILERMAN said:

When both staffs do something there is likely a reason

 

Saying both of them made the same mistake seems presumptuous 

Saying both of them didn’t make mistakes is a bit black and white. 

 

You can think the staff is very very good and still criticize them for making mistakes. MLF did plenty of stuff I questioned through the season in regards to playcalling. Overall, he was good, but he made mistakes. 

 

I just disagree with how simple you think these situations are. There are complicating factors, in my opinion. 

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Mularkey leaned to the vet (Murray) way too much.  Was just who he is and he's currently not a HC anymore so I think we know not only what the Titans thought of him but what the league as a whole thinks of Mularkey.  No doubt they should have gone to Henry more in his second year.

Yes younger players make more mistakes but they also are more dynamic and make plays at a greater rate than the older guys.  No doubt that Henry was more explosive than Murray.  Mularkey being tasked with keeping Mariota upright may have weighed into that decision.

 

What they did last year with Dion was just stupid coaching IMO.  Trying to play both RB's in the same role and go with the hot hand was just idiotic.

 

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big2033   
2 hours ago, nine said:

 

Henry was a known liability in pass protection when Mularkey was here.  

 

Last year, the coaching staff obviously preferred Lewis as the better receiving option.   The problem was that whatever advantages he offered in the passing game were offset by his overall ineffectiveness as a runner... which became a significant detriment to the offense as a whole.    And then when he became ineffective as a receiver down the stretch....it was just downright ugly. 

 

After struggling for the first four weeks, Henry was consistently the better and more productive runner from week 5 on.  He had limited snaps in the passing game but was effective when given the opportunity.

 

Lewis was a quality receiving option for most of the the year...but as a runner he was horribly ineffective aside from 2-3 solid games here and there.   But despite his ongoing inconsistency as a runner, the coaching staff made Lewis their #1 bell cow and kept feeding him even after his production fell off a cliff...to the point where it became downright embarrassing.  

 

Mularkey limited Henry’s reps due to known limitations...which is fine.  He now appears to have fixed those limitations.

 

 Last year’s staff chose to phase Henry out of the offense and go in another direction entirely, despite Henry being the more consistent and productive player week after week.    They sacrificed production in the running game in favor of a slightly better receiving target.   It was a calculated decision by the coaching staff that worked okay for 3-4 weeks....but after that, it fell apart quickly.  And from that point it was a complete disaster.

That's just not true. Early in the season both Henry and Lewis were close in terms of YPC ... the difference? Lewis was a known commodity in the passing game.

 

When weighing the pros and cons Henry's boom runs weren't coming often enough to keep Lewis off the field. It was only until 1. Lewis went from bad to worse 2. Henry starting playing every down like it was his last after the bye.

  • Henry was given 18 carries in Weeks 2 and 3. That only happened twice in the second half of the season. Those first three games they gave him opportunities to take the job. He didn't do enough to warrant more.
  • He didn't get above 3.2 YPC until Week 5. Then the following week he had 21 yards on 7 carries. There was no reason for coaches to change their pattern and feed him the ball over Lewis.

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Mythos27   

It honestly wouldn't have mattered who was getting those carries earlier in the season. There was simply no running room to speak of. 

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big2033   
Just now, Mythos27 said:

It honestly wouldn't have mattered who was getting those carries earlier in the season. There was simply no running room to speak of. 

So when the blocking was bad. Both were equally bad.

 

But when the blocking got better, one became great and the other stayed bad?

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Mythos27   
Just now, big2033 said:

So when the blocking was bad. Both were equally bad.

 

But when the blocking got better, one became great and the other stayed bad?

In terms of production yes. I think you and I had a conversation about who was the better back with running room last season (before the improvements) and disagreed.When the running room was actually created one was able to show he had legit running ability while the other showed he wasn't ready to be the dominant every down back he was being hyped to be. Lewis also got physically worse as the season wore on. He wasn't breaking the tackles he was bouncing off of earlier in the year and his lightning quickness just wasn't there. I don't know if he just got too many carries or if he was harboring some kind of injury but it seems to me something was off with him physically. Maybe Eddie should've had a talk with both backs...

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