Nick Saban comments on Derrick Henry making NFL history in playoffs
With monster performances in the Tennessee Titans’ two playoff wins, Derrick Henry became the only player in NFL history to gain at least 175 rushing yards in two postseason games. The Alabama great’s former coach says the running back is playing like he did in his Crimson Tide days (2013-15).
“I think that he’s playing, right now for the Titans, like he did when he was here,” Nick Saban recently said in an appearance on a Nashville radio station. “I think if you go back and look at his junior year here, he gained like 1,700 yards and some of the same features show up now – great stiff arm, a big, long guy that’s really, really hard to tackle, can make you miss, has tremendous power and – I think what people miscalculate is – a guy that big being that fast. But he was really that way here, you all just didn’t see it out of him for several years as he learned and evolved.
“And I think every player – and Derrick probably went through this when he went from college to the NFL – when you go from high school to college or college to the NFL, I think there’s sort of an acclimation that you sort of go through to learn a system and figure out how you’ve got to play to be successful at that level. I think it’s a little different. That took a little time, and now that Derrick’s got his opportunity, he’s certainly taking advantage of it.”
Saban, who recently talked about allowing Henry to play running back instead of linebacker, discussed why the former Heisman Trophy winner is so tough to tackle.
“I think two things happen — I think he gets stronger and stronger,” Saban said on the Morning Drive. “But I think there’s another factor in that that people don’t realize is the guys on the other side – I always a secondary coach. When I coached with the Houston Oilers, we have Mike Rozier. He was kind of a big, physical, strong guy, and even in practice, the DBs get tired of tackling a guy like that. The linebackers get tired of tacking a guy like that, aight. So, two things are happening – he’s getting stronger because he’s a big, physical, strong guy. But the other team’s also getting a little weary of trying to tackle the guy on a consistent basis, and that’s very frustrating.”
Henry and the Titans will face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl.
More from Saban on Rashaan Evans, another Titan who played at Alabama, can be found at BamaOnLine.