Former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George says he doesn’t expect current Titans star Derrick Henry to slow down at all despite his increased workload over the last two seasons.
In an interview with the Titans’ website, George said he thinks Henry isn’t taking a load of punishment despite nearly 700 carries combined over the past two seasons.
“Here’s the thing, and people have to understand this: Derrick is not getting beat up like people think he is,” George said. “He’s getting the carries, the volume. But it is not nearly as violent as when I played, or when Terrell Davis played. Derrick has two receivers who had right at 1,000 yards each, and he had a quarterback who threw for nearly 4,000 yards. So that being said, there is a great deal of balance, and all the pressure is not on him to make all the plays and be the entire offense. There’s a difference. He can now run the ball and do it very well because he has space to do it, and with his talent and ability and agility, he is lethal in that combination.
“So, I don’t buy into the theory that he is getting the hell beat out of him by looking at all the carries he has. It is the quality of carries, and he is not getting bludgeoned, he is not getting beat up in between the tackles. With that being said, now it’s just about him showing a level of consistent moving forward. But it’s not one of those situations where I expect him to slow down.”
George knows a little something about a heavy workload in the backfield.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection and first-team All-Pro in 2000 for the Titans never carried the ball fewer than 312 times in eight seasons spent with Houston/Tennessee from 1996-2003.
Henry has carried the ball 681 times for 3,567 yards over the last two season with 303 carries in 2019 and 378 carries last season. Henry led the league in carries in each of the last two years. But Henry also wasn’t used at nearly the same level through his first three years in Tennessee. Additionally, he had notable teammates alongside him at Alabama as well that split the workload more evenly as well. So it’s reasonable to assume Henry hasn’t taken the pounding other running backs of similar age have through the years.
Henry won the Offensive Player of the Year Award after rushing for 2,027 yards this season for Tennessee. He’s just the eighth player in history to cross the 2,000-yard barrier with Adrian Peterson being the last to do so with the Minnesota Vikings in 2012.
“The year he had was one for the ages,” George said.. “When you have in front of your name, ‘the only running back to do something in NFL history” or ‘one of eight to run for 2,000 yards’ or ‘the only back to have this or that. … He had the ultimate year, and the only thing missing from it was an MVP accolade, Super Bowl MVP, and going to the Super Bowl. That is the only thing missing from going to a dream season like that. It was remarkable what he did this year.”