Chiefs HC Andy Reid likens Titans RB Derrick Henry to Browns legend Marion Motley

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Kansas City Chiefs HC Andy Reid has spent a lot of time around the game of football. Asked to draw on his experience on Friday, Reid came up with an apt comparison for Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry, but he had to delve deep into the NFL history books to do it.

“Yeah, Marion Motley,” Reid said with a chuckle. “That was a good answer, wasn’t it?”

For those unfamiliar with the name, Motley was one of the NFL’s first African-American players in the modern era. He broke the color barrier alongside Cleveland Browns’ teammate Bill Willis in 1946. He began his career as a two-way player, but he eventually found his home at the fullback position in Cleveland.

Motley looked like an offensive lineman carrying the ball and not just because he wore the No. 76 either. His size and speed, relative to the time the game was being played, were as impressive as they come. He even managed some home-run plays like Henry has become known for.

Motley put together a highly decorated career in Cleveland, twice leading his league in rushing in 1948 and 1950. He became a two-time First-Team All-Pro and was voted to the Pro Bowl once during his career. He finished his career with a 5.7 yard per attempt average, edging out former Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles for third-place in NFL history if you include pre-merger statistics. He’d later be named to the NFL’s 1940’s All-Decade Team, 75th Anniversary Team and 100th Anniversary Team.

The biggest similarity between guys like Motley and Henry is that defenses don’t want to tackle either of them. Their size and ability to break tackle attempts are just uncanny. If Reid’s comparison wasn’t flattering enough, he had more praise for Henry afterward.

“He’s a heck of a football player,” Reid said of Henry. “To do what he is doing right now and for us to be able to witness that is something special. He’s a big man that keeps himself in great condition, that just doesn’t happen, it’s a year-round process to make sure you get that done. And then I think he’s a good kid on top of all that and he goes out and plays hard. I think he does a nice job, handles himself right.”

Fending off Henry will be a tough task for the Chiefs’ defense in Week 7. Reid knows that he’s going to get his yards on the ground. The key for Kansas City will simply be staying disciplined and limiting the damage.

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