Victory Monday was hit with a big blow when we all found out that Derrick Henry has suffered a significant foot injury. As you would imagine, the majority of the topics surrounded the unfortunate news.
Let’s dive right into what Head Coach Mike Vrabel said during his Monday afternoon press conference:
How well equipped is the Titans’ offense to be able to handle losing a piece like Derrick Henry
“I think that we’re gonna have to be creative and have to figure out answers and ways to move the football and continue to run our offense. A lot of that is probably still up in the air about what we’re gonna do.”
Vrabel also said he “hates to speak for his players, but Derrick is disappointed.” He also states that they found out after the game that there was an issue that needed to be fixed.
The Titans’ head coach also emphasized that Derrick Henry will be around the team during this process as his presence around the building is vital to this team.
Vrabel was asked if he felt the wear and tear contributed to his injury
“Injuries for happen for multiple different reasons. Not sure why you would speculate that it would be wear and tear.”
How likely is it that the team changes the offense midway through the season?
“I don’t know how much we’re gonna change, it’s just by adding some things, and doing some different things with who we have in there. I’m not ready to commit to anything, or a wholesale change, but there’s a lot of teams that rely on multiple backs to run the football within their same scheme.”
Vrabel was asked if there was anything they can do to coach on those under-thrown pass interferences
“A lot of it is just technique down the field and when In doubt, you have to play the ball, you have too. Because your margin for error is so thin on the contact… The biggest point is being in a position to play the football in the air”
Is there anything that needed to be said to leadership about needing to step up in Henry’s absence?
Vrabel: “I don’t think that we have to have an official meeting, I think that everybody understands that with him(Henry) not on the field, there’s going to be a void in leadership. But guys will step up. I feel like we do have strong leadership, you don’t play the types of games that we play sometimes, unfortunately, and win them, without a good strong nucleus of leaders and guys that believe in each other.”
Is it crucial for Julio Jones to start surfacing now that Henry is out?
Vrabel: “Well I think everybody, we’ll have to block better, we’ll have to throw better, and we’ll have to call better games. Not just one person, we need everybody in all three phases, so whoever wasn’t with us on Sunday, we’ll have to try to get them back out there as soon as we can to help us moving forward.”
What makes Vrabel believe that the play-action success can continue without Henry?
“Well I think that we are gonna continue to run the ball with whoever’s in there, we are gonna run our offense. I don’t think anybody wants to sit there and drop back and throw it 45 times a game. We’ll meet with Todd (Downing), and his staff will meet offensively, and we’ll come up with what we feel like is the best plan. We certainly don’t want to get into a drop back passing game this week.”
Vrabel was asked if he felt that the way Henry trains and recovers in the off-season gives him a chance to return
“I’m always hopeful. I don’t want to compare one player to the next as it relates to injuries… I know that if anybody can come back, it would be Derrick but I’m not gonna put any expectations on any sort of timeline.”
What intrigues the Titans about Adrian Peterson?
“We’ve played against Adrian, and obviously he’s got a pretty strong and solid résumé.”
Since the press conference concluded, the Titans have made the signing of Adrian Peterson official.
Vrabel on Jeremy McNichols and the rest of the young running backs on the roster
“Jeremy since he’s been here, whether that’s in the active roster, practice squad, coming back to us, he’s always just done whatever the team needed him to do… he’s got a certain level of toughness that we respect…
With Dontrell (Hilliard), I would say he has spent more time in our building for a new player, last week, as much as anyone I can remember… You could see that he was ready to go and you could see that he clearly wanted to try to come in and play.
Sarge (Mekhi Sargent) has shown a toughness and willingness to be available and be with us through training camp.”
Does Vrabel think he believes there’s a chance that Henry made the injury worse by continuing to play?
“I think we’ve always done what’s best for the player. I think there’s some things that we never want to put a player in jeopardy to not be able to do his job or make anything worse. I don’t think that, that was the case yesterday and hopefully we can always avoid those situations.
Were there any discussions on shutting down Henry?
Vrabel: “Internally, in my mind. I check the medical staff and in this case I checked with Derrick. I’m gonna give him a little bit of leeway, I think he’s earned the right to help me make that decision.”
Vrabel also pointed to how they discuss his rest and recovery. And pointed out to past situations like sitting Henry against the Saints in 2019, and allowing Henry to get the rushing title the next week despite a big lead as moments when he’s helped listen to Derrick when making decisions.
How is Ryan Tannehill feeling about everything
Vrabel: “Good, he’s excited, we are 6-2. Everybody is sore, banged up, but guys are excited to be where we are and to continue to try and prepare.”
How much does the teams “next man up” foundation help with this latest adversity with Henry
Vrabel: “I think it helps, I think anytime that you can be in tight games and face adversity, that just can only build and make you stronger.”
Is there any chance that Henry returns this season?
Vrabel: “there’s absolutely a chance. Can’t sit here and tell you that, that’s going to happen. I just know that Derrick Henry and hopefully everybody else that’s out, is going to do everything that they possibly can to get back as quickly as they possibly can.”