From Heisman winner to backup: What Derrick Henry learned as an NFL rookie
It wasn’t an easy transition for Derrick Henry to the NFL.
At Alabama, Henry was the heart and soul of the Tide’s team, a Heisman Trophy winner and national champion, but when he got to Tennessee, he became a backup to DeMarco Murray.
Henry rushed for just 490 yards on 110 carries with five TDs during his rookie season, and he watched his teammate, Murray, lead the AFC in rushing. That’s a far cry from setting the SEC rushing record with 2,219 yards during his Alabama career.
But Henry is using his rookie season as a step in his maturation, and sitting behind another player is always humbling. It also gave Henry some time to reflect and make himself more prepared.
“It was different coming off the year that I had in college coming in being the second guy,” Henry said, via the AP. “But it was a growth year, an experience year, helped me learn a lot. Prepared me for this year to get better.
“This year, I feel a lot better.”
Henry recently started the Titans’ first preseason game while Murray missed it with a hamstring injury, and he rushed for 29 yards and caught one pass.
With a healthy Marcus Mariota, Murray and Henry can form a formidable duo for the Titans in 2017.