As he prepares to face Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, New York Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale sees arguably the greatest player in NFL history.
"He's like our modern-day Jim Brown, I think," Martindale said Wednesday, via the Giants' official team website. "He's just that much different when he has the ball in his hands, so it's a challenge every time he touches it."
The Titans, who recently gave Henry a pay raise for 2022, likely agree.
"There's a reason why they call Derrick Henry 'The King' because he's on the iron throne, for all you Game of Thrones fans," Martindale said. "They just gave him a raise; I think he's the highest-paid running back. And I still don't think they gave him enough."
Despite missing nine games in 2021, Henry still led the NFL in carries per game (27.4) and rushing yards per game (117.1). He can join Brown (1958-1961) as the only two players in NFL history to average 100-plus rush YPG in four consecutive seasons, per NFL Research.
While with the Baltimore Ravens, Martindale's defenses got trucked by Henry on multiple occasions. Henry rushed for 133 yards in the Titans' win in Baltimore during the 2020 regular season. In the previous postseason, Henry had 30 carries for 195 yards, helping upset the Ravens.
"Thanks for reminding me," Martindale sarcastically quipped.
Now in New York, Martindale's D will be tasked with slowing down Henry in Sunday's season opener.