NASHVILLE – Titans running back Derrick Henry has been a busy man at the start of the 2020 season.
In the first two games, Henry has already carried the ball 56 times for 200 yards. No back in the NFL has carried the ball more times than Henry, who is second in the league in rushing.
Speaking on a video conference call on Thursday, Henry sees room for improvement. Earlier in the week, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said the offense has had too many short, or negative plays, on first down.
"I think we all just need to focus on improving, and getting better each week," Henry said. "And that's what we want to do as a whole, and that's what we'll continue to work on. Eventually, things will happen. So we're just focusing on improving, and getting better as a whole and it will eventually happen for us."
Henry is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, with a long run of 14 yards.
Vrabel said he'd like for the Titans to be more efficient in the running game.
"I think that is coach challenging is to be better," Henry said. "And that is just us working on improving the run game, and wanting to have better efficiency, and having that want-to to be better. I think that we all have that mindset, that we have to be better. And that is what we are (working) to do. Our mindset is improving on the week before."
Henry, who leads the NFL with 1,740 rushing yards since the start of the 2019 season, believes it's just a matter of time before the Titans hit on explosive runs. Henry, who had 84 yards last week vs the Jaguars, has 716 scrimmage yards (143.2 per game) and eight touchdowns (7 rush, 1 receiving) in his past five games.
He has 80-plus scrimmage yards in 11 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.
"They'll come," Henry said of the explosive runs. "Sometimes things like this happen during the season, where we might have a little adversity, things might not be going the way we want them to or think they should be going. But fixing things, improving, watching film and seeing things we get better at (are things we're doing) – it's not what really what the defense is doing, it's what we need to do better as a whole, individually, and then collectively as a group. That's what we are trying to do, improve … and eventually it will all come together, and we'll get rolling the way we want to. But right now, we just have to improve on things we're not doing so good right now."
On Sunday, the Titans face a Vikings defense that's ranked 28th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game (154.5), but 14th in average yards per carry (4.29).
"Watching them on film, they look like a very good defense," Henry said of the Vikings. "I know last week against the Colts, they had to earn everything they were getting. Their coaches do a great job, their head coach does a great job with their defense – they have a lot of physical guys over there, some young guys. I know they have some guys hurt, but the guys who came in and replaced them, they've been doing a good job.
"So, I don't take this defense lightly. I think they play very sound football, and they are a physical defense."