After calling plays for Derrick Henry, Arthur Smith sees him as “the outlier”

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Before becoming the head coach of the Falcons this year, Arthur Smith spent the last decade as an assistant in Tennessee, including the last two years as the Titans’ offensive coordinator. And that gave Smith an appreciation for what running back Derrick Henry could do in his offense.

But Smith is under no illusions that he can follow the same blueprint in the Falcons’ offense.

Smith said on Cris Collinsworth’s podcast that Henry is such a unique player that feeding him the ball was a no-brainer. Henry led the NFL in both carries and yards in both of the two years that Smith was the Titans’ offensive coordinator.

“And really Derrick, it was a practicality. Derrick is the outlier. The number of carries he had, and when he gets going, it’s impressive to watch,” Smith said.

Henry is certainly an outlier physically, as there isn’t another 6-foot-3, 247-pound running back who can move like Henry. But Smith also seems to view Henry’s role in the offense as something of an outlier. Henry got 378 carries for the Titans last year. Don’t expect Smith to call anything close to that for any of the Falcons’ running backs this year.

7 responses to “After calling plays for Derrick Henry, Arthur Smith sees him as “the outlier”

  1. Well hes an outlier but Smith definitely has a type at running back. They brought in Mike Davis at 5’9 and 220 lbs and retained Qadree Ollison who’s 6’1 and 232 lbs.

  2. Nobody is talking about new Titans OC Todd Dowlings disaster of a season at OC in Oakland. Opposing DCS were saying it was like preparing for a high school offense. That was 4 years ago so maybe he’s learned a thing or twelve but he stunk it up pretty bad and the Raiders had a decent offense the year before and won 12 games. Something to keep an eye on.

  3. Most people think of Derrick Henry as Brandon Jacobs – a huge, superstrong running back who can run you over. He definitely is some of that, but he is really much more like Chris Johnson…a couple of steps and he is gone. The guy trains like crazy and certainly has a unique physique for an RB…plus he really has only played a lot for 2.5 years…hopefully he has lots of tread on those tires. The combination of his stiff-arm (long arms & obvious power) and his breakaway speed are truly unique. Bit IMO, it is the speed that kills – that why his YAC is so high – when he breaks those tackles, he can run for 30+ yards. He often runs away from DBs and is rarely caught from behind.

  4. The last running back like Derrick Henry was Jamal Lewis.

    Its the combination of size, strength, and breakaway speed that is sooooo killer. Once these guys are in space, in your secondary? Its scary.

  5. Once Henry is in the secondary, the defenders have to make career decisions. Taking Henry, at full steam, head on, can end a career.

    Facing him scares many defenders.

  6. Smith is going to be a disaster in Atlanta. Amazing how newer ot trendier assistants become the soup du jour because a star player makes them look good.

    Buyer beware.

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