3 ways LA Rams Darrell Henderson erupts in 2020

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams Darrell Henderson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

From the moment the LA Rams drafted Darrell Henderson, his promise of NFL production remains unfulfilled. Here are 3 ways to change that in 2020

Rookie running back Darrell Henderson arrived at a no-win situation when the LA Rams selected him in the 2019 NFL Draft. He was a running back whose long-strides and quick speed would allow the Rams to threaten a defenses perimeter. Since the Rams were not as effective between the tackles with questions about veteran running back Todd Gurley, the perimeter was new and untested ground. Thin the defense by stretching it side-to-side, and the running game would flourish once more.

It was a good plan. In fact, it was a great plan on paper. But a funny thing happened when it came time to put all of that into action. It failed miserably.  So what happened?  Rookie running backs need touches, just like any offensive weapon in the NFL.  In 2019, Henderson touched the ball for 39 carries. Even had he carried the ball for an average of 12 YPC (Yards Per Carry), he would have only registered 468 yards on the ground. While he remained an afterthought throughout the season, there was a persistent hope that he would break out the following week.

Change of pace requires a change of habit

The use of a primary runner with a change of pace rusher has proven to be quite effective over the history of the NFL. Current duos who are effective as differing running styles include Baltimore Ravens’ Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints Alvin Kamara, and Latavius Murray, and from the not-so-distant-past the Philadelphia Eagles LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles. Historically, good running backs happen.  But the rarity is finding a good “little back”, or scatback, to pair up with a larger more traditional running back.  Still, that’s something LA Rams general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay envision for the team. That vision never materialized for the Rams in 2019.

Read. Los Angeles Rams: 15 greatest running backs of all-time. light

So what will it take to unlock Henderson’s offensive talents? Clearly, the plan to use Henderson as a secret weapon in 2019 was so secret, not even the Rams knew about it. He was unprepared in the 2019 preseason, and that seemed to carry over into a regular-season where the coaching staff never seemed to hold much confidence in him. So what can the LA Rams possibly do to unlock Henderson in 2020? Actually, there are many options available for the team this season. Let’s discuss the top three ways: