Both Eddie George and Derrick Henry know the all too familiar job of having to carry a ground game.
The success that’s came for George, and is still coming for Henry, has found a way for the 2 to establish a bond that dates back to last season.
The story has been told so many times, you can label it as a folktale now.
Derrick Henry wasn’t playing his best football last season, so he made a call to franchise icon, Eddie George.
George hammered into him, saying that he isn’t running nearly as hard enough as he should be. Henry is 6’3 and 247 lbs., so the idea of Henry not running hard might seem laughable at first.
But it was an accurate statement, and Henry knew it.
“He shot me straight, and told me I needed to finish runs, that I needed to be more physical, and make the defense pay. He told me I wasn’t playing to my potential, and I could play better. That’s the stuff I needed to hear. It gave me a different outlook moving forward.”
via Jim Wyatt
All that was left to do was go out, take the criticism, and channel it into improved play on the field.
Henry did just that, rushing for 585 yards and 7 touchdowns over the final 5 games of his 2018 season.
The criticism was respectable coming from George.
George plowed through defenses for 7 years in Tennessee, combining will the talented Steve McNair to keep Tennessee a constant playoff regular for years.
But when it came down to playoff time, George always found himself in the face of none other than Baltimore Ravens legend, Ray Lewis.
Those 2 had a fierce rivalry, going at each other whenever they had the chance, with one getting the edge over the other in memorable fashion whenever playoff time rolled around.
The rivalry those 2 had made for great stories to tell in the future, stories that we all still enjoy to hear whenever we get the time.
Let’s jump forward.
It’s now 2019, Derrick Henry is now the main man in the backfield for the Titans, carrying the offense through the thick and thin, surviving and advancing in the tournament as much as possible.
The Titans just so happen to be facing off against the Ravens Saturday night, the team that gave Eddie George and company so many fits during their successful run through the early 2000s.
You should know where I’m going with this.
The similarities between George and Henry sets the stage for comparisons between the 2.
Especially considering the running game the Ravens employ.
It’ll be an interesting game to watch, of course for the obvious reasons at hand.
But when it’s all said an done, we’ll finally see how Derrick Henry takes on the attitude that Eddie George left behind whenever the Titans and Ravens put on their hats to play some old school, trench battling football.
These 2 players are connected through bond and through similar playoff opponents.
Let’s see if Henry is connected to George in physicality as well.