NASHVILLE – Running back Derrick Henry was a workhorse for the Titans in 2019.
When the going got tough, Henry got going, and his strength and durability helped the Titans advance to the AFC Championship Game. It helped earn Henry a new contract at season's end.
Henry also deserved a break, but he hardly kicked his feet up and binge-watched shows on Netflix while pounding Cheetos and Mountain Dews all offseason.
In fact, it was just the opposite.
Another offseason meant another rigorous workout routine for Henry, who was seen in numerous videos running hills and lifting weights.
"I couldn't really speak on any other running backs (and what they do)," Henry said. "I was just doing what I do – me training, staying in shape, getting my body stronger and getting prepared for camp. It's what I do every offseason."
Henry worked with his personal trainer, Melvin Sanders, in Dallas, Texas, during a good portion of the offseason. He focused on cardio, strength, and recovery.
One video that went viral this offseason was of a shirtless Henry doing some footwork drills with a football in his hand before sprinting up a hillside. He caught a football from his trainer while making a similar trek up the dusty hillside. On yet another video, Henry carried a medicine ball up the hill.
"I really do drills (for) conditioning, to open up my lungs and make sure I am in shape," Henry said. "That is really the focal point, to make sure my body is in shape. … I really looked to do some hill work, tried to find a good hill, a steep hill, and I found them when I was training in Dallas. I just wanted to get some hill work and see how in condition I was (in) and it was really some good work. … I liked it and I tried to do as much as I could when I had the time."
Some people might hate the grind.
"I love working out -- I love working in general," Henry said. "That's just me being me."
Henry turned in the best season of his NFL career in 2019, when he was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Year and a Pro Bowler for the first time.
Henry was also named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press after leading the NFL with a career-best 1,540 rushing yards on 303 carries. Henry ranked third in NFL with 18 total touchdowns in 2019, and he ranked second in the AFC and fourth in the NFL with 1,746 yards from scrimmage.
At the start of camp, following an offseason when he was awarded with a new contract, Henry said he's excited for 2020.
"(I want to) get better every day, continue to get better, continue to try and elevate my game each time I step on the field, or in a meeting," Henry said. "That will always be my focus.
"I think we are all just excited to be back together, to be back to work and getting things rolling. We're just taking it a day at a time until we are able to get out there and put pads on and compete against each other. We just want to keep building momentum as we compete with one another during camp."
A look back at RB Derrick Henry's 2019 Pro Bowl season that saw him rush 303 times for an NFL-leading 1,540 yards (5.1-yard avg.) and 16 touchdowns. (Photos: Donald Page)