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 Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

What a difference a year makes

There is a lot to learn as a rookie in the NFL. Some players get it instantly. Others take more time. Sometimes it’s the player. Other times it’s the coaching staff. It sometimes is simply a poorly executed plan. Whatever the case for 2019’s deflated debut of Darrell Henderson, this is a new season. While it is filled with questions and uncertainty for the organization, it’s a completely different story for seldom-used RB Henderson

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This is suddenly familiar territory for the second-year running back. He knows his teammates and they know him. He’s settled in, and his entire focus this off-season is getting back onto the field and running the ball. While 2019 was all about wondering which team would select him, and then all the fun and frolic of relocating halfway across the country, this season is all settled in. A year ago, he had no idea what he was in for. This season? Everything is in focus.

Now how to get there?

While setting goals and expectations for 2020 are far easier, reaching those goals is just as difficult. He is on film, for 39 plays at least.  And defenders can study his tendencies from 2019 and have a better idea of what they are up against. Still, 39 plays equate to two games worth of running plays in the NFL.  So a good step would be to commit to Henderson for a minimum number of carries for a minimum number of games.  Start with eight games, and 15 carries in those games. That equates to 120 carries for the season, which is a much better number for a running back.

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With that many carries and a 4.2 average, Henderson can become a 500-yard rusher for the Rams. Simply with a commitment to getting him some touches. What does that do for rookie RB Cam Akers? If the Rams can limit the passing game to 550 passing attempts, that should translate into 480 running plays.  Giving Henderson a fourth of those touches would still allow the team to commit 240 rushes to Akers and mete out the remaining carries to Goff (scrambles), Brown (red zone carries), and an occasional Mundt carry from the upback position. That’s pretty simple and is the first step to getting Henderson on track in the NFL.