Alabama in the Pros

Derrick Henry baptized Josh Norman of Buffalo Bills with an insane stiff arm in victory for Titans

Derrick Henry scores rushing touchdown for Titans versus Bills
Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Two things defenders must recognize about Derrick Henry: he is a bad man and never get in his way.

He crafted a legendary stiff arm at Yulee (Fla.) High School and it became even better once he got to the Southeastern Conference and played at the University of Alabama. The former five-star bullied defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs once he built up full speed in space. Henry’s long arms, no matter who the defender was, would launch opposition into the ground.

One of the iconic moments for Henry came in his Heisman-winning season in 2015.

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In the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup against Michigan State, he threw Shilique Calhoun to the ground on a touchdown run.

The most impressive part about the play was Calhoun was bigger than Henry at 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds.

He said he practices a lot of curls, but Henry’s left arm of baptism took a former NFL All-Pro cornerback to church on Tuesday Night Football between the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills.

Josh Norman is regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the National Football League.

He’s had some struggles; however, he is well-respected 10-year veteran (2012-present) and the former fifth-round pick of the 2012 NFL Draft is in his second year with the Bills.

Henry rushed for two scores, but his viral play happened in the second quarter. As he comes around the left side with the ball, Norman comes downhill as the boundary defender to make a play. Henry stretches his left hand out and pushed Norman a few yards as he fell on his back.

Players on both teams were stunned, especially those on the Titans bench. When he entered the draft process in 2016, very few people saw Henry’s transitioning to the next level.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder has proven everyone wrong and he is the identity of the Titans.

After two consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons — including a NFL rushing title campaign in 2019 — he is off to another strong start through four games.

Henry is tied for second in the league for carries (101), third in the NFL for rushing yards (376) and tied for sixth in rushing touchdowns (four).

He got the Titans to a 42-16 victory over the Bills and the team is in first place with a 4-0 record in the AFC South. With Henry, the Titans are one of four NFL teams still undefeated.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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