Who wants John Henderson, any takers? Why the Oakland Raiders do after all. For those who have been under a rock (like myself) and are just finding out about this signing, are you happy about the move?Henderson is 31 years young; that is looking at the glass as half full. I am fully confident that he can come in and be that 335 pound run stuffer that Oakland needs. The Raiders have struck gold with undrafted free agents recently, like Desmond Bryant and Tommy Kelly. They signed another this year after the draft, his name is Kellen Heard, and he rolls around the 355 pound mark.
The signing of Henderson instantly upgrades the run defense. Just imagine the possibilities of the personnel in this defense...I bet John Marshall's mouth is watering as we speak, and it's his day off. Of course NFL coaches hardly ever truly take a day off, but just imagine any offensive line trying to move 335 pounds of John Henderson and 355 pounds of Kellen Heard out of the middle of the field on a first down run play. Yeah, that is how much better Henderson has already made the Raiders.
In addition, this should quiet the grumbling of a trade of Richard Seymour to the Redskins for Henderson's former college teammate Albert Haynesworth. Imagine if you will, a first down front seven with:
DE- 305 pound Lamarr Houston, OLB 255 pound Kamerion Wimbley
DT- 335 pound John Henderson,
MLB- 255 pound Rolando McClain
DT-355 pound Kellen Heard,
DE-310 pound Richard Seymour, OLB- 255 pound Trevor Scott
Oakland has not seen anything like this in a very long time, if ever. Even if Kellen Heard just stands in his gap responsibility and doesn't move at all, it will still be a nightmare trying to run around him and Henderson. I hereby declare the "one' holes officially closed for business. Heard won't just stand like a statue, however, because he is surprisingly quick and agile for a man his size. He is a mauler with attitude.
Now, let's imagine that you throw Mike Mitchell and Tyvon Branch into the defensive secondary on first down. Mitchell is 225 pounds of ferocious just looking for someone to unleash his viciousness upon. Tyvon Branch was awesome in run support last year on his side of the field and finished in the top ten in tackles for the entire league last year. The 2009 Raiders defense led the league in tackles for a loss with 93, and this year's offseason moves should only improve that number.
I love the move for Henderson. I remember envying the Jaguars stout men in the middle when they had Marcus Stroud and John Henderson. They were the Pat and Kevin Williams of the early 2000's.
Scout's Inc.'s Matt Williamson thinks Henderson is just what the doctor ordered for Oakland, "Oakland's run defense was atrocious last year. The Raiders are makings strides to get better there. This is another step in the right direction. Henderson is a big, wide body that will clog up the interior. I don't think you will see him on passing downs, but he will help against the run for 25-35 plays a game. He is not a difference maker at this point. But he could be an above-average player for Oakland. I like this signing."
So even if Henderson can only give the Raiders 15 plays a game (as Jerry MacDonald suggest), you can bet it will be 15 good ones played with the heart and determination of a true warrior. You cannot ever go wrong by adding a warrior to your roster.
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