Derrick Henry regret joining ravens after expressing in interview…

The Ravens and Derrick Henry are a match made in football heaven.

The Ravens and Derrick Henry together are terrifying.
Running back Derrick Henry’s decision to sign with the Baltimore Ravens was hailed as an exceptionally wise one right away. After a memorable career in Tennessee, the powerful back is leaving to pursue a championship with a Ravens club that is constantly on the verge of success.

On the surface, it seems obvious why this acquisition will benefit Baltimore: running back Henry combined with quarterback Lamar Jackson should lead to immediate success. But there’s more to it than that, in my opinion, which makes this move potentially capable of taking the Ravens offensive to new heights.

In the offseason, the Ravens lost RB Gus Edwards to free agency. Edwards was the hammer of the Raven’s run game, taking most of the carries between the tackles with Jackson and Keaton Mitchell (pre-injury) provided the lightning and explosion in the offense. According to Sports Information Solutions, Edwards led all ballcarriers on runs in between the tackles, and was second on the team in Positive Play Rate. Edwards ability to simply always fall forward kept the offense humming and allowed the Ravens to singles and doubles, as well as home runs.

Now that Edwards is on the Chargers, the Ravens needed someone who could keep the run game on track while keeping hits off of Jackson. Enter Henry, one of the better between the tackles runners in the entire NFL. Henry’s ability to get downhill and make life difficult for second level defenders is going to play perfectly with Jackson and Mitchell’s big play ability in the backfield.

Although when Henry takes snaps in the backfield for Baltimore, they’ll probably see even more loaded boxes than they did in the previous season. Last year, Baltimore finished second in the NFL in rushing attempts into a box with seven or more defenders and finished fifth in Positive Play Rate. Gus Edwards took most of those carries with him to Los Angeles, but in 2023 Henry had the most carries in the league into loaded boxes behind a Tennessee offensive line that was poor for most of the season, but behind a much better line in Baltimore, he should be able to be more effective than he was in 2023.

Where the rubber really hits the road for the Ravens and Henry is with their use of the pistol offense in 2023. With more offenses wanting to run traditional under center run game stuff like duo and counter, but still wanting to have RPOs built into the offense with a mobile QB like Jackson. I believe NFL offenses are going to start leaning more into the pistol offense in 2024, and that’s going to really benefit the Ravens and Henry. Henry led the NFL in under center rushing attempts, and while that’s something the Ravens don’t exactly major in (28th in the NFL in total under center rushing attempts), Henry and Edwards both were near the top of the NFL in snaps from the pistol, which is a great blend of both their skills.

The Ravens ran a lot of power and counter out of the pistol, a great way to get backs downhill in a hurry without sacrificing the RPO or shotgun diet of most offenses today. Edwards was really good at getting downhill out of pistol, not wasting any time and getting right into the gaps to keep the offense humming.

Although the Titans and Ravens both utilized a lot of ground-based pistol offense, their strategies differed slightly from one another. Running pair out of pistol was a mainstay of the Titans’ offensive scheme. With Henry, it really worked because he can gain strength and speed and become a greater force if you give him a runway. However, Tennessee did use a counter-out of-the-pistol as a changeup, and Henry’s position inside the Ravens’ offensive scheme is clear.

What Henry brings to this offense is essentially a super version of what Gus Edwards brought to Baltimore: tough inside running and the ability to win in the red zone. Among all players with 20 or more carries in the red area, Henry was ninth in the NFL in Positive Play Rate. Combining his physicality with Jackson’s ability as a runner will make the Ravens more dangerous there, a scary thought for opposing defenses.

To keep Henry fresh for those early down and red zone chances, Baltimore will need to keep an eye on Henry’s carries. This is where Keaton Mitchell, ideally in good health, and Justice Hill come into play. Though Henry can no longer lead a team to win, Baltimore can truly utilize him as the lightning to everyone else’s thunder.

And I wouldn’t want to be in front of that thunder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *