NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Derrick Henry averaged exactly six yards per carry in three seasons at the University of Alabama.
Henry's average in his first two preseason games with the Titans: 7.0 yards per carry.
Not a bad start, but last year's Heisman Trophy winner knows he has work to do. Running room was tougher to come by on Saturday against the Carolina Panthers, but he still managed to have success on just five carries.
"I still think he ran the ball with some power," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Henry, who ran for 31 yards on five carries (a 6.2-yard average). "I saw piles moving."
In two games, Henry has 105 yards on 15 carries against the Chargers and Panthers. He racked up 74 yards on just 10 carries in the team's Week One contest against the Chargers.
Henry, selected in the second round by the Titans, has broken a number of one-on-one tackles so far as defenders have aimed to tackle him low once he gets past the line of scrimmage. Veteran running back DeMarco Murray leads the team with 113 yards on 11 carries so far in the preseason (10.3-yard average).
"I feel like I have to go back to practice and work on my quickness,'' Henry said. "It's going to happen because I am a tall running back, so guys tend to target my lower body. I just have to make them miss, or run them over. I have to do anything to make sure I fall forward."
Here's a closer look at Henry's work:
• Henry has five carries of 10-plus yards in the 15 carries, including a long of 16 yards. He also has runs of 10, 13, 14 and 15 yards.
• Henry has been stopped for a loss on just two of the 15 carries.
• Ten of Henry's 15 carries have gone for at least six yards.
The Oakland Raiders are next up for the Titans.
"We played against a good defense, and their defense plays fast,'' Henry said of the Panthers. "I think it was a real test. You have to start fast, you can't start slow in the NFL. Once you get slow and the other team gets the tempo they'll hop right on you. We have to be physical in the run game and run hard."
The Titans select Alabama RB Derrick Henry in the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)