Derek Henry is taller and heavier than all but three of the Defense Giants members.
There’s nothing in a first-passed NFL like the challenge of taking on the iconic force of his generation, which might explain why Back corner giants Adoree ‘Jackson -Henry’s former teammate of the Tennessee Titans-crossed the sport for an apt comparison.
“He’ll do what he’s doing,” Jackson said. LeBron James is going to be LeBron James: You might be able to cool him down for a quarter, two, or three quarters, but at the end of the day he’s going to get his points. Just put 11 hats on the ball. [against Henry] And just try to limit it as much as possible. But, I mean, this is the best player in the league.”
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale stuck to football to compare it – but has traveled back nearly 60 years to explain What awaits Sunday When the giants visit the titans.
“It’s like modern day Jim Brown, I think,” Martindale said. “It’s completely different when he has the ball in his hands, so it’s a challenge every time he touches it.”
The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry has averaged 5 yards on 900 chariots over the past three seasons, winning back-to-back titles with 1,540 yards in 2019 and 2,027 pounds in 2020. Before breaking a bone in his right foot Making him miss the last nine games of the 2021 regular season, Henry was so dominant that he had more rushing yards after contact (587 out of 783) than any other player who had yards flowing in six weeks.
“There is a reason they call Derek Henry King,” Martindale said. “Because he’s on the Iron Throne, for all Game of Thrones fans.”
A whole bunch of “Derek Henry’s Solid Arm” GIFs live on social media for those interested in seeing the advent of a helpless defenseman fly to the ground. The penalty is not easy at 300 pounds.
“If you watch a tape of Derek Henry, he’s definitely a big back, but you don’t see he’s a big back until he’s into space,” defense line man Leonard Williams told The Post. “When he’s on the line of melee, he’s like most of their backs. When he gets to space, that’s when he’s trying to punish DBs with his stiff arm and put his body on men a lot smaller than him. Our job as a defensive line is to not let him get to the second level.”
Easier said than done because Henry doesn’t drown across the line. He’s also a home run hitter with the NFL’s nine best runs at least 50 yards out since 2018.
“One of the best defenders of all time,” Williams said. “It’s always the youth teams going around and trying to prepare for it, and it’s still over 100 fast games happening all the time.”
In four regular season or playoff games against Martindale’s defenses—when he was with the Ravens, before coming to the Giants—Henry carried 83 times for 389 yards and touchdowns, including a 195-yard performance to take out an AFC number. Top seed in the 2019 qualifiers. These are the risks of a delightful scheme.
“He can definitely hurt a team that runs a lot if he gets past the first level of defense because there’s no one behind him to bring him down,” Williams said.
Two of the Giants’ 10 highest paid players are defensive tackles (Williams and Dexter Lawrence). The third gear in the defense that was built in the middle by former General Manager Dave Gittleman went to stop running after Sudden launch of Blake Martinez’s 100-process machine, who was placed at full back until last week. High-end midfielders Kayfon Teboudou and Aziz Ogolari are unlikely to play either.
Bad timing with Henry on deck.
“From coach to player and player to player, the D-lineman respects another D man who can stop a run,” Williams said. “It may not be for the fans because they love seeing pretty bags, but we know it takes a lot to stop running.”
“Yeah, if he’s not in the game,” coach Brian Dabol said sarcastically. “We’re going to have to have all hands on deck and do our best running into football and dealing with gangs. You even see him in plays he might have three or four guys, and somehow it flows.”