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Henderson eager for more than a bit part

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Tuesday, October 23, 2007 John DeShazier The game can administer a vicious, unmerciful bite, and Devery Henderson's butt and ego have the marks to prove it. The Saints' receiver has been chewed apart by fans and critics because of his ...

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Old 10-23-2007, 02:31 AM   #1
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Cool Henderson eager for more than a bit part

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
John DeShazier

The game can administer a vicious, unmerciful bite, and Devery Henderson's butt and ego have the marks to prove it.

The Saints' receiver has been chewed apart by fans and critics because of his sins, the most serious of which, suspect hands -- leading to the drive-crippling inability to consistently catch the football -- is a major threat to employment.

And yet, that part of the game hasn't yet devoured him. It hasn't yet made him so bitter that he won't acknowledge his failures, that he won't put in the extra work to correct them, that he won't openly and honestly field all queries regarding his struggles, which stood at an alarming seven dropped passes entering Sunday's game against Atlanta.

So it was impossible not to feel good for Henderson when, finally, he bit back.

Well, actually, "nibbled" might be a more appropriate description, since he only had one catch for 37 yards against the Falcons at the Superdome.

But that one catch and those 37 yards resulted in a touchdown. And with the Saints winning by a score of 22-16, it's obvious that Henderson's score -- the first of the game -- was an important strike for New Orleans. And considering he topped the list of scapegoats when affixing blame to the Saints' 0-4 start, let's just say that little piece of sunshine couldn't have fallen on a more deserving person, regardless of what you think of him as a player.

"It was a great throw and a great catch," Coach Sean Payton said. "He made a big play in the end zone. We caught them in the coverage that we were looking for. Drew (Brees) located the ball well and Devery came up with the big play.

"I told him afterwards that he provides a big spark ability to our offense."

That's true, because in the NFL there only are so many men who can run fast enough to get past everyone else on the other team. There are few who can stretch the field simply because of their presence.

Of course, no amount of speed matters if the receiver can't catch the ball.

Creating enough space to be open on a deep out pattern, or being fast enough to get a step on the cornerback and safety on a post, doesn't mean a thing if a catchable ball is going to end up on the turf or, worse, is going to be tipped to a pursuing defender.

Henderson has had a little of the former and latter this season, and sometimes has paid for it with decreased playing time. He legitimately has had his credentials questioned as a worthy complement to No. 1 receiver Marques Colston.

But if there has been a problem with confidence, he won't admit it.

"Confidence is not an issue," said Henderson, who let off a little steam by spiking the ball after scoring and, for his display, was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I never lost my confidence. I've just got to keep working, keep doing what I'm doing, and everything will work out."

It always seems to work out fairly well against the Falcons, whom the Saints will see again Dec. 10 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Last season he had an 11-yard run for a touchdown against Atlanta in New Orleans, then tapped the Falcons for four catches and 158 yards, with a touchdown, in Atlanta.

On Sunday, on the Saints' seventh offensive play, he got deep and smoothly cradled Brees' pass.

"That was big," Brees said. "Especially early on, it was a way to get the game started. Obviously, he made a nice catch, and it was a great way to get the whole thing started. It was a big-play touchdown that we've been talking about for the last few weeks, and getting back to the big plays that we used to make."

One of the ways to get back to that is to get the ball to Henderson, and that only can be done if he catches the ball.

He has just nine catches for 183 yards this season, not quite the follow-up everyone had expected after his breakout last year (32 catches, 745 yards, five touchdowns). But maybe Sunday was the start of something good.

Maybe, that nibble will turn into something bigger.

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Old 10-23-2007, 03:54 AM   #2
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

If he can catch the ball better, the offense would be great. I hope he gets his chance again.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

just catch the ball. thats what you've been doing your whole football life. catch the dam ball.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:59 AM   #4
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

I don't want him in the game. In a season where the term "Earn it" is the Saints mantra, he has failed. Give me Patten or Moore. They are almost as fast but have much better hands.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:14 AM   #5
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

Henderson has speed he just needs to learn how to catch. I think Moore is the only Saints player this year not to drop a pass
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Old 10-23-2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

How many balls did he get thrown his way against the Falcons? exactly one according to the NFL's playbook (http://www.nfl.com/liveupdate/gamece...O_Gamebook.pdf. The week before, exactly two passes thrown his way, neither catchable. http://www.nfl.com/liveupdate/gamece...A_Gamebook.pdf

I don't think there's going to be much of a way to evaluate Henderson if he's given but one opportunity a game. I'll grant that he's had problems, but if you don't use the weapon, you might as well not have it in the first place. And if he doesn't draw a double team because the opponent discounts his ability to catch, he might actually be an easier target to exploit.

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Old 10-23-2007, 01:20 PM   #7
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

Originally Posted by iceshack149 View Post
I don't want him in the game. In a season where the term "Earn it" is the Saints mantra, he has failed. Give me Patten or Moore. They are almost as fast but have much better hands.
Ditto. The speed is great, but the drops are totally demoralizing. We need to use Devery on end arounds, but he has shown he's not dependable catching the ball.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:11 PM   #8
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

Devery, just start catching the darn ball, brother! Every Saints fan wants you to be a great WR, your hands are stopping that. Just catch the ball.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:32 PM   #9
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

Put him in the slot. Reverses and Screens.
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Old 10-23-2007, 08:37 PM   #10
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Re: Henderson eager for more than a bit part

i haven't given up on henderson just yet....
proper use of devery still may turn out very good for the saints
once we've lost the case of the 3 and outs and are able to sustain long drives he will fit right into the mix with the deep threat
c'mon devery start catching the ball - i'd hate to see the saints let him go only to have him bust it wide open for another team
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