The AFC Championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans got some extra juice this week when Chiefs linebacker Frank Clark said the following about Titans running back Derrick Henry, “He’s not hard to hit, he’s just a big guy...I don’t see no difficulty in tackling him.”
Last week, before Henry ran through the Baltimore Ravens, Earl Thomas talked about how the Patriots didn’t want to tackle Henry, but the Ravens were ready for the big, bruising back from Alabama.
Then this happened...
I can’t stop watching this video of Derrick Henry turning Earl Thomas into his lead blocker pic.twitter.com/iyo6GWS5hn— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) January 12, 2020
Trash talking has long been a part of the game of football, but there is always a code of conduct regarding giving the opposition bulletin board material before a big game. To many, the Chiefs made a could-be costly error when Clark made those comments about the running back who has literally run through every team en route to the AFC Championship game.
When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there is one player who has never been shy about using his words, and his platform to send messages to the opposition. And while he has toned down his social media use over the years, Vince Williams spoke up about Henry as a running back, Clark’s comments and whether or not they will somehow impact the game this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
6’4 235 4.5 40 running through your secondary will have DBs making business decisions. https://t.co/Np6T15Wm2J— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) January 19, 2020
When you have an elite back you block up the front seven and give the DBs to the the back. Similar mismatch as a Wr on a LB in man to man.— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) January 19, 2020
So now you have a 180 pound corner trying to tackle a 235 back. Yeah he may make that play a couple times but he may also leave the game with an AC sprain or a torn labrum ♂️— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) January 19, 2020
Football is the ultimate game of matchups. Good coaches find ways to use their talent to is maximum capability. Great coaches do that while simultaneously covering their weaknesses.— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) January 19, 2020
I don’t believe in the bulletin board narrative. It’s the AFC championship everyone is going to be ready to give their all. If your opponent talks trash or is silent you’re still going to try your hardest to beat them. The latter just helps you save face if you lose.— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) January 19, 2020
Some candid, and honest, words for a player who knows all too well about having to step up into a gap and face a running back head on. There are some who believe in the bulletin board material somehow impacting a game, but Williams brings up a great point when it comes to motivation. If you need motivation when you are one-step from the Super Bowl, you might be in the wrong occupation.
What about you? Do you believe in the external motivation which could come from comments made prior to a game? Or are you someone who think once the game starts all of that external noise disappears?
Let us know in the comment section, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers throughout the offseason.