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Derrick Henry came down hard on himself on Wednesday – he called himself “soft.”
The Titans running back wasn’t happy with his performance in Sunday’s playoff-clinching win over the Jaguars. He plans to run with more of a purpose this weekend in Saturday’s playoff game against the Chiefs.
“I didn’t feel like a workhorse back. I kind of felt soft,” Henry said after practice. “I am not really happy about that game at all. It hasn’t left my mind since the clock hit 0:00. I have been working hard this week and trying to get better than I was last week and looking forward to the game on Saturday.
“I just feel like I didn’t run like myself (vs Jacksonville). I wasn’t really happy. I could say other words, but I have to play better.”
Henry, starting in place of injured running back DeMarco Murray, carried the ball 28 times for 51 yards, a 1.8-yard average. He was part of the game’s biggest play on offense when he caught a screen pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota and raced 66 yards for a touchdown.
Henry was also part of a disastrous play when he collided with Mariota, which resulted in a fumble that was picked up by a Jaguars defender and returned for a touchdown. Coach Mike Mularkey said Henry went the wrong way on the play.
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Henry also wasn’t effective in short yardage situations.
“(I need) to get yards falling forward, not losing 13 or losing five,” Henry said. “Just try to get a positive gain, not running soft. I can play a lot better. I wasn’t really happy with how I played. We got the ‘W’ and that was the main goal. But just focus better.
“I can run harder, and not create negative plays. Be very detailed in the little things, and that is what I am working on this week, being better in every aspect I can be. I just trying to help us and make sure that I am playing to my full ability and execute in every play that is called.”
On Saturday, in the first round of the playoffs, the Titans will face a Kansas City defense that’s ranked 23rd overall against the run.
In a game against the Chiefs last season, Henry carried the ball nine times for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Henry said he’s looking forward to this weekend.
“They’re very fast,” Henry said of the Chiefs. “They have a very fast defense, a good back end. As long as we execute what we need to do, I feel like we can put up a big game. We just need to go out there and start fast, and finish strong.
“It will be an exciting environment, that was the regular season and this is the playoffs. It should be a full crowd, a lot of noise. You have to love playoff football. … I am very excited. Playoff football, my second year, I am ready to go.”