PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Coming off shutting down the top rushing team in the league, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said they are facing something this week that they haven’t seen yet in Tennessee’s Derrick Henry Sunday.
“It’s really astounding that a back his size is capable of going to the house every time he touches it,” Tomlin said on Tuesday. “Over the course of the last 10-12 games dating back to last year, this guy has a highlight reel of big runs unlike I have ever seen over that type of a time span.”
While the 6’3”, 247 pound tailback will run repeatedly at you and wear you down, he also has a 94 yard touchdown run this year and leads the NFL, by a wide margin, with 588 yards, and has six touchdowns despite playing in a game fewer than most.
“The damage that he does when he gets in open space that he’s able to couple those attributes with sprinter’s speed is ridiculous,” Tomlin said.
“You see everybody’s secondary over the last few years chasing this guy and very few closing the distance.”
Tomlin said he’s noticed on tape that defenders are intimidated. Not to pile on Buffalo corner Josh Norman, put he put the nine-year vet, that weighs 200 pounds, on a poster by shoving him to the ground with a stiff arm.
“This is like Bud Dupree running the football,” Tomlin said. “This guy gets into your secondary and it’s like trying to take a guy like Bud, but he’s faster than Bud, obviously.”
He’s not doing it alone, quarterback Ryan Tannehill is making defenses pay when they cheat to stop the run, throwing for 7.9 yards per attempt, completing 70% of his passes for 13 touchdowns to two interceptions with a passer rating superior to Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.
Tomlin said stopping Cleveland running with a big lead is one thing, but stopping the Tennessee offense “will be a full day’s work”.