Derrick Henry

In The Loop: Delle Donne sees WNBA ring for first time, Derrick Henry's hill workouts

In The Loop: Delle Donne sees WNBA ring for first time, Derrick Henry's hill workouts

First up in our look around the sports world, the wait is over for Washington Mystics fans. Elena Delle Donne gave us a look at what the teams WNBA championship ring looks like. Her reaction to seeing it for the first time is priceless, let's run it back again ladies!

 

 

Next up, everybody meet Mia. A future hockey star in the making, check out this focus and coordination! I don't know about you, but I would break an ankle if I even attempted this.

 

 

Lastly, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry is out here giving opponents a first look at what’s coming in 2020. These uphill drills are no joke, I’m sure a few Baltimore Ravens fans are triggered by this.

 

 

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Redskins RB Adrian Peterson sees NFL's valuation of running backs as 'disrespectful'

Redskins RB Adrian Peterson sees NFL's valuation of running backs as 'disrespectful'

Over the last several years, the running back position has continued to evolve. Players are more versatile and can do numerous things for an offense, making them a valuable component of any system. However, what hasn't evolved with it is the monetary value for the majority at the position.

Despite the production, running backs have consistently had problems when it comes time to negotiate a new deal. As teams look to pay less for the position and spend the money elsewhere, top producers such as Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon and Dalvin Cook have held out of team activities in hopes of new deals. Sometimes their desires are met, other times franchise tags or other loopholes come into play.

The whole situation is something that frustrates Redskins running back Adrian Peterson. The veteran, who helped start the running back revolution with his speed, strength and durability, sees the undervaluing of the position as a slap in the face to some of the most talented players in the game.

"It's disrespectful to be honest with you. It really is," Peterson said to TMZ Sports.

The 14-year pro was able to earn a large payday when his time came with the Minnesota Vikings, signing a seven-year, $96 million contract in 2011. Since then he's continued to produce at a high level, especially over the past two seasons with the Redskins.

Despite the knock that running backs decline after the age of 30, Peterson has rushed for 1,940 yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons with Washington while missing just one game. He was 33-years-old when he joined the team in 2018.

RELATED: PETERSON WANTS TO PLAY FOUR MORE YEARS

Peterson is hoping that his continued success following his first decade of football will show owners and front office members that a running back can have value over a long period of time, making it worthwhile to sign players to a long-term contract for the money they deserve.

"I think the change is going to come," Peterson said. "Me and Frank Gore continue to show guys, 'Hey, we are valuable. We can have 10, 14-year careers as well, so value us as well like you would value a quarterback, you know?'"

Gore is entering his 15th season in the NFL after rushing for nearly 600 yards and appearing in all 16 games at the age of 36 in 2019.

Additionally, Peterson has confidence that the market for running backs will continue to change as the players at the position continue to do more for an offense. Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara are the latest examples of do-it-all backs that can line up anywhere on the field and produce outside the run game. Derrick Henry essentially put the Titans on his back and helped the team reach the AFC Championship Game last season.

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As more and more talent like that enters the league, Peterson remains hopeful that the next generation of running backs won't be undervalued when contract negotiations come into play.

"These young core of backs are really changing the game for the better," Peterson said. "I feel like you're going to continue to get guys like that, that's going to help raise the value of the running back position."

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Key Ravens matchups: Derrick Henry and the Titans return in Week 11 as Ravens look for revenge

Key Ravens matchups: Derrick Henry and the Titans return in Week 11 as Ravens look for revenge

The Ravens will be out for revenge when the Titans come to Baltimore on Nov. 22 for a tilt with the team that knocked them out of the playoffs a year ago. 

Tennessee fell in the AFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs a week later, but not before ending the season of the league’s best regular-season team. 

In that game, the Ravens not only uncharacteristically made offensive mistake after mistake, they never were able to stop running back Derrick Henry. 

The league’s leading rusher from a year ago with 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns on the season, Henry never let the Ravens get back into the game in last year’s divisional round. 

Despite the fact that Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for just 88 yards — 45 of which came on one play — on 14 attempts, Henry carried the weight of the offense. He rushed for 195 yards on 30 carries and even threw a touchdown pass as the Ravens' season slipped away with each broken Henry tackle.

The aftermath of that game, as it relates to the Ravens’ offseason, cannot be overstated. 

Baltimore added defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe, drafted two more in Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington Jr. and also drafted two inside linebackers in the first three rounds: Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison. 

While that lone game wasn’t responsible for the overhaul, it’s clear the Ravens weren’t too fond of the image of Henry running freely through their defense. 

There won’t be much else to learn about Henry or the Ravens’ front seven when this game rolls around, but it’s still the most intriguing matchup to look forward to from this game.

Tale of the tape

Henry, who beat up the Ravens’ front seven last season, really only has had two years of top-notch NFL production. He led the league in rushing in 2019 and rushed for 1,059 yards in 2018, but averaged just 4.2 and 4.5 yards per carry, respectively, in the previous two seasons. 

A reason for his success against the league last year is his size. The 26-year-old is 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, a terrifying player to bring down for any undersized linebacker or defensive back. 

In the Ravens’ rehaul of the defensive front, they made sure to make themselves bigger. Campbell and Wolfe are the biggest of the bunch at 6-foot-8 and 6-foot-5, respectively. Campbell weighs 300 pounds while Wolfe weighs 285. 

Madubuike is 6-foot-3 and 293 pounds, while Washington is 6-foot-3 and 304 pounds. The Ravens front seven will look quite different, and much beefier, than it did last January. 

Supporting cast

The Titans lost Jack Conklin to the Ravens’ AFC North rival in Cleveland this free agency period, but replaced him with Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson, the 29th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Tennessee’s offensive line is still massive, as the 6-foot-7 Taylor Lewan and 6-foot-6 Wilson will likely patrol both tackle positions. The interior of the line is no smaller than 6-foot-3, meaning the Ravens and Titans will be in for a physical battle in the trenches. 

The Ravens’ front seven, as previously mentioned, got a lot bigger in the offseason, As for how much better remains to be seen, but it could be boosted by the additions of Queen and Harrison. 

Queen is a rangy linebacker that can play in coverage and Harrison is a bigger body that can fit the run well. If they’re able to play in the box together, the Ravens can get as many members of their talented secondary on the field as they can and stack the box against Henry and the Titans. 

Who has the edge?

It’s close, considering last year’s outcome, but for now it’s the Ravens. 

With the Ravens’ additions in the front seven, they’ve addressed the weakest part of their roster in a big way. If they’re able to play the game as they want, they’ll play from ahead — meaning Henry won’t be as big of a factor. 

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