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    Derrick Henry Opens Up About Playing With 2-Time MVP Lamar Jackson – ‘Breath of Fresh Air Not Being the Center of Attention’

    After a lengthy tenure in Tennessee, being paired with reigning MVP Lamar Jackson is something Ravens RB Derrick Henry is thankful for.

    Everyone already knew that Derrick Henry joining the Baltimore Ravens this NFL offseason was a big upgrade for a team that likes to run the ball. However, Henry made it clear that he, too, will be seeing benefits from the signing, thanks to Lamar Jackson.

    Derrick Henry Relieved To Join Forces With Lamar Jackson

    Henry’s tenure in Tennessee was an exhausting one. Over his eight years with the Titans, Henry toted the rock 2,030 times, with three of those seasons receiving over 300 carries each. Not only was the workload heavy, but so was the focus.

    A tenure that included sharing a backfield with the likes of Marcus Mariota, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Ryan Tannehill. The Tennessee’s QB room has been a work in progress for most of Henry’s career.

    Now in Baltimore, for the first time in his NFL life, Henry will work with a proven quarterback who is a threat in his own right. This will finally relieve some of the pressure on Henry and make his job easier.

    “It definitely brings a different aspect, because he is a dual-threat quarterback, and he’s dangerous with his legs just as he is with his arm,” Henry said of Jackson.

    “It’s going to be fun and a breath of fresh air not being the center of attention, knowing that eyes are going to be on him, as well. But I’m just excited to get to work and put the work in out here and let it all come together.”

    Jackson brings an element to an offense that few have ever, or could ever, duplicate. His ability to change a game with his legs while being a truly respected passer puts defenses in binds. Defenses will be forced to respect Jackson and his ability to tuck it and run or pull it and hit a shot over the top, allowing Henry to see fewer situations where defenders are locked into his every move.

    Henry Addition Headlines Ravens’ Offseason

    The Ravens were one game away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl last season. They were close, and this offseason, they operated like a team that knows it. Good teams lose talent in the offseason; it’s just the way it goes in many cases.

    Players such as LB Patrick Queen and S Geno Stone — both important parts of the defense — signed elsewhere.

    Nevertheless, the Ravens were able to add Henry to the mix while retaining some important pieces to give themselves another shot at a title this season. Those moves, including re-signing DT Justin Madubuike to a four-year, $98 million deal and keeping LB Kyle Van Noy in the fold, helped keep a strong Ravens defense just that.

    When you look at the pluses and minuses of the roster this offseason, however, it’s tough not to see the Henry signing as the biggest sign of Baltimore’s desire to win right now.

    Henry adds a dynamic element, almost a missing piece of sorts to a group that will be heavily dependent on the running game.

    Can Baltimore Make It Back to AFC Championship Game?

    It’s obvious that until they’re knocked off their throne, the AFC — and the rest of the NFL — will run through Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Couple that with the AFC getting stronger every year, it won’t be easy to get back to the conference title game for Jackson and Co.

    New growing stars such as C.J. Stroud and the Houston Texans have emerged quickly. With their aggressive talent acquisition approach, the Texans look intent on capitalizing on their young QB’s rookie deal.

    Despite coming back from injury, you can’t forget about the Joe Burrow-led Cincinnati Bengals, who are always a tough out in the AFC. Even Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills, who have gone through some turmoil this offseason, are always respected opponents. However, the Ravens deserve their respect amongst the conference’s best, too.

    Baltimore was the best team in the NFL last season for most of the year, a No. 1 seed who had the home-field advantage throughout. Ultimately, they didn’t get it done, with Mahomes and the Chiefs continuing to find a way to overcome. Still, as you look ahead to 2024, no one should be counting the Ravens out for a trip back to the AFC Championship Game.

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