Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE – Titans running back Derrick Henry was thrilled when he found out the team was promoting Arthur Smith to offensive coordinator.
When Smith said during a press conference on Tuesday he plans to make Henry a big part of the offense in 2019, well, that probably made him even happier.
But even before then, Henry was on board.
“We just got Arthur as offensive coordinator, a guy that I love,” Henry said from the red carpet at the NFL Honors the night before Super Bowl LIII. “I think he is going to do a great job with us. I can’t wait to see what’s is store. I am definitely looking forward to it.
“He has that physical mindset, which I love, and it is what we want to be. I think it was a great decision to make him the offensive coordinator. He’s a great offensive mind. I think he’s going to do a great job. I’m excited.”
Henry finished the 2018 season on a roll. On the year, Henry had 215 carries, 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns, with a 4.9 yard average.
In five games in the month of December, Henry’s rushing totals included 97 carries for 625 yards and eight touchdowns. His 625 yards were the most by any NFL player in any calendar month during the season. Henry was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Month for December.
Henry set a franchise record with 238 yards in a game vs. the Jaguars, and he piled up 170 yards a week later in a win over the Giants.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Smith said he plans to utilize Henry.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel last month promoted Smith from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator. Smith replaced Matt LaFleur, who was named head coach of the Green Bay Packers
“Derrick is going to be a big part of our offense,” Smith said. “Derrick has got a rare skill set, he’s one of the few guys that – he’s a home run hitter. Obviously, like I said, we’re taking another step hopefully with him. What he did the last five weeks will open up a lot of things, and hopefully, again, to improve what he did. But, Derrick Henry will be a big part of the offense.”