Titans’ Henry poses tough test for Packers run defense

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry pushes off Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas...
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry pushes off Indianapolis Colts safety Rodney Thomas II in the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 8:09 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Stories of coaches sleeping in the office are common in the NFL. This week is no different with just three days to prepare for one of the AFC’s best on Thursday Night Football.

“That’s just kind of the way it is. That’s the way I’ve done it every year. Whether it’s here or somewhere else. Just go right in and get to work,” said head coach Matt LaFleur.

One thing that will certainly keep the Packers up this week is Titans running back Derek Henry. Who currently sits just behind Saquon Barkley in the chase for the NFL rushing title. Green Bay will have a unique resource at their disposal on the coaching staff this week. That’s with head coach Matt LaFleur having coached Henry with the Titans in 2018.

“If he gets going, it’s going to be a lont day. You’ve got to do a great job of trying to contain him, bottle him up, try to get him going laterally because once he gets going downhill it’s like a freight train going through there,” said LaFleur.

Green Bay has seen Henry since LaFleur came to Titletown. Henry nearly broke the century mark at Lambeau Field in 2020, but did not have a single carry of more than ten yards.

Of course that game tape was the first current defensive coordinator Joe Barry turned to when preparing for the Titans.

“Every single back in this league is unique, their subtly different, but this guy is the most unique. Not only because of the things he can do with the ball in his hands, but just his simple size. You know, he literally looks like Preston Smith when he breaks the huddle,” said Joe Barry.

That combination of size and speed helped Henry average 4.6 yards per carry thus far this season. The key for a unit ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game is quite simply tackling as a unit, literally.

“It’s hard. You’ve got an unblocked guy. Come on man, make the tackle. It’s going to take five. It’s going to take six. It’s going to take gang tackling. It’s going to take swarm. It’s going to take effort. That’s something we preach every week, but definitely this week when you’re playing a guy like Henry,” said Barry.